Jan. 30, 2015

HARRISBURG – Taking a stand against what can only be described as modern-day slavery, Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) authored House Resolution 40, making January Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. The resolution was unanimously passed by the House earlier this week.
“When you hear about human trafficking, many of us instinctively think it is a problem that only occurs in far-off countries,” Quinn said. “However, human trafficking is a global epidemic, happening in cities and small towns within our Commonwealth’s borders, including Bucks County.”
Victims, often children, are exploited in an underground criminal network where money, drugs and sex are far more revered than human dignity. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 325,000 children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are at risk from being victims of sexual exploitation every year.
The General Assembly recently took action to combat this terrible crime with the passage Senate Bill 75, now Act 105. The new law gives law enforcement necessary tools to prosecute and prevent human trafficking by expanding the legal definition of trafficking, by criminalizing related activities and by providing additional protections for liberated victims.
“The bottom line is that every day of the year, there are victims of commercial sex and labor trafficking who are suffering, there are people who support trafficking when they buy sex from women and men, girls and boys,” said Julie H. Dugery, coordinator of volunteers and community outreach for the Network of Victim Assistance. “Pennsylvania has taken a very big step in combatting this crime by enacting Act 105. There is more to do, and we need to continue to raising awareness among residents of the Commonwealth. We need more eyes and ears alert to this crime.”
Residents are encouraged to report suspected criminal activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888, text information to BeFree (233733) or contact local law enforcement. For more information on what can be done to stop human trafficking, visit the Polaris Project at PolarisProject.org.
For more information on Quinn’s legislative goals, visit RepQuinn.net or Facebook.com/RepQuinn.

Representative Marguerite Quinn
143rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
RepQuinn.net / Facebook.com/RepQuinn