Human Trafficking in Tennessee
Thu May 23, 2013
The Trafficking in America Task Force Conference Begins Today in Nashville
The Trafficking in America Task Force Conference begins May 23 in Nashville and Tennessee now has one of the nation’s most comprehensive programs to combat human trafficking. Trafficking is defined as coercive adult prostitution and any sexual exploitation of children. State legislators passed 12 new laws that will go into effect this year, which include harsher criminal penalties for traffickers, allow more time for prosecutors to bring charges against alleged traffickers and include trafficking as grounds for the termination of parental rights. The legislation also amends an existing state law: under the new version, defendants cannot plead ignorance concerning the age of a child victim, nor can they argue that any acts with a child victim was consensual. And child victims are now protected by law in testifying outside courtrooms via closed-circuit TV. A state task force to study and respond to the issue of trafficking has also been created.