U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, announced Saturday that she would be introducing a piece of legislation this month aimed to curb human sex trafficking.
A press release from her office says that she spoke Saturday morning at the Breaking Free Breakfast to benefit local sex trafficking victims. "Klobuchar outlined legislation she plans to introduce giving prosecutors the needed tools to crack down on domestic minor sex trafficking," says the release. "The bill will take Minnesota’s 'safe harbor' law national to make sure minors sold for sex aren’t prosecuted as defendants, but are instead treated as victims."
Minnesota Public Radio reports on the Minnesota "safe harbor" law, which Klobuchar expanded on. "The first thing would be to make it very clear that kids that are sold for sex are not criminals," Klobuchar said, according to MPR. "They need support, they should not be locked up in jail. That's taking the Minnesota model of considering the cases in that way and expanding it nationally."
KSTP-TV reports that U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-MN, also spoke at the fourth annual Breaking Free Breakfast in St. Paul.
"These children are getting exploited each and every day," Paulson said, according to the television station.
There are more than 27 million people around the world victimized by trafficking each year, according to Klobuchar's press release.
"Reports on the number of our kids in the U.S. who are sold for sex range anywhere from 1,400 to 2.4 million," says Klobuchar's statement. "In Minnesota, recent reports indicate that on any given night dozens of underage girls are sold for sex online. The average age of a child when she first becomes a victim is just 13 years old."