February 27, 2017
Contact: Christopher Pumpelly

Real Steps to Fight Human Trafficking


Human Trafficking Platform and Policy Statements

We accept the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) definition of human trafficking, which says: “Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit someone for labor or commercial sex. Any minor (under the age of 18) exploited for commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking. A person's consent to enter into these exchanges does not invalidate their protection under the law.”[1] We also accept K.S.A. 21-5426, which extends our definition to include situations of kidnapping, and understand that this includes any situation where fraud or coerced labor is required, and can happen with or without force.[2]

There is little doubt that human trafficking is a major problem not only across the United States, but right here in Kansas as well. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified Kansas as an originating state for human trafficking.

We know that trafficking is not limited to those under 18 years old, but something that can happen within the labor work force as well in situations where labor practices are required that do not fully respect the rights of individuals.

Human trafficking is a human rights violation affecting adults and children across the world, though it is an increasingly relevant concern in communities across the Midwest.

Human trafficking is not limited to children or women, but is something that affects all ages and genders.

The problem is real. The changes that I propose here will help to protect the rights of survivors, and focus law enforcement and punitive measures on those who exploit those survivors.

Survivors are victims. Survivors are not offenders of the law. Survivors must be protected, not arrested or prosecuted.

Consider the reality... 

1) Human trafficking is a major problem in Kansas and across the country

  • As cited above, human trafficking is an issue that must be addressed
  • Trafficking is not only about movement, but can happen in a situation where a victim remains in the same location. Trafficking is about the exploitation of people by others.
  • As humans existing in a society where modern day slavery exists, the duty is ours to act with every available tool to ensure that human trafficking is ended

 2) Tools must be provided for those frontline workers that see victims of human trafficking

  • Frontline workers may include (but are not limited to): health care providers, social service workers, labor unions, teachers/educators, law enforcement, and the legal community
  • Engaging those who see trafficking as a regular part of their work, and enabling them with tools to identify victims, work a set system to identify the situation, rescue survivors, and punish those who have perpetrated human trafficking
  • Increased training that empowers frontline workers to understand, identify, and act when cases of human trafficking are known must take place

 3) At the federal level, we must increase punitive measures against those that exploit, while increasing rights for survivors of human trafficking.

  • Human trafficking must be a high priority of the federal government. We have a duty to end modern day human slavery that still exists in Wichita, Kansas, and the United States.
  • Systems must be put into place that help the recovery of survivors of human trafficking. Personal, psychological, professional, and educational care must be a core component of how we address the human trafficking problem.
  • The law enforcement, legal, and judicial communities must have the statutory ability to fully act and prosecute when situations of human trafficking are identified. 



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