A bipartisan bill that aims to protect child human trafficking victims is on its way to the Governor’s office for a signature.
The bill, co-authored by House Reps. Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) and Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown), aims to speed up the rescue of child victims of human trafficking.
If the measure is signed into law, trafficking pamphlets with national phone numbers and resources will be given to both law enforcement agencies and anyone who files a missing child report.
Wright says the bill also helps to protect the victims from being seen as criminals by protecting them from charges of underage prostitution.
“If they thought they were going to get in trouble with the law, or get in trouble with their families, they were more hesitant about reaching out for help," Wright says. "So, it helps in that way, and it also just helps the law enforcement officials to, you know, reaffirm that they indeed are victims and should be treated as such.”
The Indiana Attorney General’s office reported 100 human trafficking cases last year.
The House Democratic Caucus says the bipartisan bill had a perfect run through the legislature -- passed unanimously by the House and by the Senate with no changes made. That means the measure is automatically sent to the Governor’s office for approval.