WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, hailed passage of Arizona House Bill 2454, which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer today. The bill passed the Arizona House and Senate unanimously. Polaris Project partnered with the McCain Institute for International Leadership to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation in Arizona and other mountain states.
“We applaud the Arizona Legislature and Governor Brewer for passing this critical piece of legislation into law. This bill is a step in the right direction in the fight against human trafficking, and we hope this momentum inspires other states throughout the region to strengthen their human trafficking laws,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project. “Polaris Project thanks Cindy McCain and our partners in Arizona, such as TRUST, for their leadership and expertise.”
In January, Polaris Project launched a year-long billboard campaign to combat human trafficking in the Phoenix region with Cindy McCain, TRUST, and Clear Channel Outdoor. Read more here. In 2013, Polaris Project released its annual state ratings on human trafficking laws, which rates all 50 states on 10 categories of law that are critical to a basic legal framework to combat human trafficking, punish traffickers, and support survivors. Arizona was rated as a tier 3 state. Read more on our 2013 state ratings at www.polarisproject.org/2013stateratings.
“Strong state and federal laws like Arizona’s bill make it easier for local prosecutors to win cases against traffickers and increase protections for survivors of trafficking,” added Britanny Vanderhoof, Polaris Project’s Policy Counsel. “Polaris Project was honored to be involved in the process to provide resources, advice, and advocacy. We look forward to seeing this bill’s implementation.”
Human trafficking is a thriving criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud, or coercion to rob victims of their freedom. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of victims forced to provide commercial sex, labor, or services against their will in the United States.
People can receive help, report a tip, or request information or training by calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to BeFree (233733).