The number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline increased by 35 percent last year, and the amount of survivors calling for support rose 24 percent.
That's according to a report from Polaris, a national organization that works to eradicate trafficking and to help its victims. Polaris operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
Minnesota ranked 30th in the United States in the number of human trafficking cases reported to the center in 2016. Minnesota accounted for 62 cases reported to the center. The states with the most cases reported were California with 1,323 cases and Texas with 670 cases reported to the center.
“The National Human Trafficking Hotline is an essential tool for victims and survivors of human trafficking to get the support they need,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), in a news release. “That more people have been using the hotline to report incidents of trafficking and find assistance will help us in our efforts to put an end to this heinous crime.”
Klobuchar introduced legislation that became law that fights trafficking, including a national law modeled after Minnesota's Safe Harbor law, which gives incentives for states to have a safe harbor provision to help ensure minors who are sold for sex aren’t prosecuted as defendants.
Those minors instead are treated as victims and provided child protection services, rather than being arrested and put into the criminal justice system.