Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by legislators and child protection advocates, today signed House Bill 3, which is designed to increase protections for victims of human trafficking. The “Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act” is primarily designed to target individuals who exploit children for sexual purposes by increasing penalties and prison sentences. The legislation would also provide training so that victims, advocates and law enforcement officers may better recognize signs of human and child trafficking, allowing them to take action more quickly.
The bill also allows police and prosecutors to seize assets of those involved in human trafficking, and earmark the proceeds from those seized assets to pay for victim services. Finally, the bill offers the so-called “safe harbor” protection, which allows human trafficking victims to receive treatment rather than jail time.