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New federal laws must be added to win fight against human trafficking

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  • Janet Jensen is the founder of The Jensen Project, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening partnerships in the fight against sexual violence.

The rescue by Nashville police of a 15-year-old girl from two alleged sex traffickers was an early holiday gift, since it came just four days before Christmas. But it was also a grim reminder of how widespread and pernicious human trafficking is.

As Jeremy Lofquest, Assistant Special Agent for Human Trafficking for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said, “It’s happening to boys and girls, men and women, all the way across the state. It’s not just one isolated incident.”   

It is, in fact, a national problem that requires a more sophisticated national response. To make that happen, two federal laws—one on trafficking, one covering technology—urgently need to be updated and reformed. 

Many states need to step up their game

Shared Hope International’s Protected Innocence Project issued a national report card in 2019 that gave 15 states As, which is good. But 21 got Bs, 13 were given Cs, two got Ds.

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