Support Stronger Anti-Trafficking Laws in Missouri
  • Petitioned Missouri Governor

This petition was delivered to:

Missouri Governor
Missouri State Senate
Missouri State House

Support Stronger Anti-Trafficking Laws in Missouri

    1. Dana Liebelson
    2. Petition by

      Dana Liebelson

      Washington, DC

  1.  
  2.   
May 2011

Victory

After months of advocacy from Missourians and nearly 1000 Change.org members, the Missouri House members voted 154-0 to strengthen human trafficking laws in the state.

Under the legislation, possible prison sentences would be five years to 20 years for those convicted of crimes such as trafficking for slavery or forced labor, trafficking for sexual exploitation and abuse through forced labor. People convicted of those crimes also could be fined up to $250,000. Currently, those trafficking offenses carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Courts also would be required to order those convicted the trafficking offenses to pay restitution to compensate victims for the value of their labor and for mental and physical rehabilitation needed for victims and their children. Additionally, trafficking victims could file a civil lawsuit, and the state attorney general's office could bring its own lawsuit seeking a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation from people who benefit from trafficking violations.

 

Last September, five Missouri men were indicted for trafficking a 16-year-old mentally deficient girl, and forcing her to sign a “sex slave contract.” For four years, the men made her work as a stripper, sexually abused her and tortured her on webcam. They even tattooed a barcode on her neck, and the letter “S”—for slave. This case is horrific, and like me, you probably want these men in jail for life. But Missouri law doesn’t agree: in the state, most convicted human traffickers serve only five years in prison, and sentences are capped at fifteen years, according to The Columbia Daily Tribune.

This particular case is brutal enough that the traffickers are facing life in prison — but what about future criminals? Missouri needs to bring its weak state trafficking laws up to the federal level. This move would empower state law enforcement to assist federal investigators, and send a strong message that trafficking is not a small crime. Representative Jason Kander (D-Kansas City) is planning to introduce legislation that will raise the penalties in Missouri state courts to the federal level Trafficking is currently only a Class B felony in Missouri, which carries a 5-15 year penalty. Kander's legislation would make state law match federal law, giving criminals — like those who trafficked and sexually abused a disabled 16-year-old girl — the sentences they deserve. Tell Missouri legislatures to support the proposal today.

 

 

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Breaking News: Missouri Anti-Trafficking Bill Passes Through Senate

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      A Missouri bill that would toughen penalties for human trafficking has unanimously passed through the Senate. Although newspapers reported that the Senate gave first-round approval to SB394, the bill actually passed 32-0 on Thursday, according to...

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. Interview: Trafficking Survivor Fights for Missouri Anti-Trafficking Bill

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      A bill that would give stronger penalties to human traffickers is headed to the Senate in Missouri. Change.org caught up with Margaret Howard, an anti-trafficking advocate who has testified for the bill and is committed to getting this legislation...

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Put Missouri Traffickers Behind Bars for Life

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      March madness has hit state anti-trafficking legislation. The latest bill to steamroll through the House belongs to Missouri, and passed 155-0. Perhaps the “show-me state” caught some of the positive momentum snowballing in from Georgia and...

    6. Reached 100 signatures
    7. Support Stronger Anti-Trafficking Laws in Missouri

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Last September, five Missouri men were indicted for trafficking a 16-year-old mentally deficient girl, and forcing her to sign a “sex slave contract.” For four years, the men made her work as a stripper, sexually abused her and tortured her on...

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Richard Sands SOUTHGATE, MI
      • over 3 years ago

      I really would like to see this post, reposted, repeated and shared by everyone who visits my wall or finds this on his or her wall... I will indeed keep this at the top of my list each and every day until I know that everybody understands that, "more than four-fifths of the confirmed victims of sex trafficking - about 83 percent – were (are indeed) U.S. citizens,..." is a fact.

      http://richard-a-sands.blogspot.com/2011/05/ag-holder-admits-links-between-porn-and.html?spref=fb

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amy Streufert ST. LOUIS, MO
      • over 3 years ago

      YEAH!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shelby Giese KIRKSVILLE, MO
      • over 3 years ago

      YEAH!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sheree Crane SOMEWHERE, AL
      • over 3 years ago

      I do believe in this cause very deeply. I don't beleive in prisons. Alternative accountability is order though. Life time ankle braclet that keeps them from forever leaving the town in which they live. Attachment of 20% of their life long income to help pay for more help (from private citizens). AN EDUCATION PROGRAM that teaches them better that they must attend for two years, after which they are OBLIGATED to teach others for another 2 years.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Drummond ST. LOUIS, MO
      • over 3 years ago

      Let us not be the ones to allow people to get off for making slaves out of these children. These victims could be your friend,, sibling, or even your child. IF this was your kid would you want that person to only get by with five years in prison and then get out to make more victims. Lets join together and make NO MORE VICTIMS/

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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