Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill aimed at cracking down on human trafficking and changing attitudes about young women and men who are sold into the sex business.
"This will not only strengthen our ability to severely punish traffickers, it will give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break a cycle of exploitation," he said in a prepared statement.
The bill creates new fines for those who sexually exploit children and allows forfeiture of property. It channels that money toward treatment and services for victims.
It establishes a new crime, called commercial sexual exploitation of a child, which can be used whenever someone is involved with luring minors into the sex trade.
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The bill, which easily passed the House and Senate, has roots in Wichita where law enforcement officials, prosecutors and social workers have been trying to change attitudes toward those sold into the sex trade, portraying them as victims and survivors rather than prostitutes.
Brownback signed Senate Sub for House Bill 2034 at a ceremony in the Capitol at 9:30 a.m. Monday.