ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will be in St. Louis Monday to announce what he calls major new initiatives to combat human trafficking. The announcement is going to be made at a secure safe-house for human trafficking victims in St. Louis.
Hawley says this new initiative will make Missouri a leader in the fight against human trafficking. There are several components of Hawley’s plan.
His effort will include first in the nation regulations that will use Missouri’s consumer protection laws to go after human traffickers. Hawley says he is going to create a new unit within the attorney general’s office dedicated to anti-trafficking efforts. The attorney general also plans to form a statewide, anti-trafficking task force made up of law enforcement officials, non-profit groups and anti-trafficking experts.
In a release from his office, Hawley says “Human trafficking is modern day slavery, pure and simple. To a far greater degree than we realize, it touches almost every Missouri community. And potentially thousands of Missouri children and young women are at risk. I promised I would take bold new action to combat it, and that is exactly what we are doing.”
Hawley says the National Human Trafficking hotline has identified more than 31,000 reports of trafficking in the U.S. since 2007, including around 2,000 in Missouri.
Hawley will be joined at Monday’s announcement by human trafficking survivors, advocacy groups and law enforcement officials from across Missouri.