For Immediate Release - August 29, 2011

Massachusetts Given Negative National Ranking for its Legal Tools to Combat Human Trafficking

Coakley Encourages Passage of Human Trafficking Bill Currently In Conference Committee

BOSTON - Massachusetts has been given a negative rating by a leading national advocacy organization for its lack of legal tools to combat human trafficking. The Polaris Project ranked all states based on the presence or absence of 10 categories of state laws that it believes are critical to a comprehensive anti-trafficking legal framework. Massachusetts received a rating of -2 and is now just one of 3 remaining states without laws to combat either sex or labor trafficking.

Map of States in US with Human Trafficking Laws

The complete state rankings can be found at this site:
http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/state-policy/current-laws

The following is a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on the Polaris Project Report:

"This report highlights the fact that Massachusetts is well behind the rest of the nation in our laws to combat human trafficking. The passage of a human trafficking law would give us the tools to go after those who are exploiting children and other victims right in our own communities. I appreciate the Legislature's quick work in getting the bill to conference and now look forward to its swift passage.

I commend the advocates, law enforcement officers, and victim service providers who do incredible work in spite of a lack of legal tools and support."

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