HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), that seeks to support human trafficking victims by making is easier for them to bring lawsuits against their offenders was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today.
“Human trafficking is a heinous crime that is more prevalent in Pennsylvania than many people realize due, in part, to our location with several major East Coast highway arteries running though our state. We are continuing to update our laws to keep pace with this ever-growing crime, and my bill is just one way in which we can make is easier for victims of human trafficking to seek justice,” said Kauffman.
The Commonwealth’s extensive human trafficking protections include a provision that allows civil lawsuits to be brought by victims against any person who participates in the human trafficking of the victim, as well as against those who recruit, profit from or maintain the victim in the sex trade, or who abuse or otherwise physically harm victims. Some of those cases may be brought in the county where the victim resides, while others may be filed in a county where the human trafficking violations occurred.
House Bill 394
would allow all these lawsuits to be brought either where the victim resides or where the violations occurred.
“This may seem like a small change, but this type of uniformity in the law is important,” said Kauffman.
House Bill 394 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
If you or someone you know is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or send a text at 233733.
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman