An advocacy group that works to combat sex trafficking says Kansas has made significant improvements when it comes to fighting human trafficking. Shared Hope International gives Kansas a letter grade of B after making changes in recent years. In 2011, Kansas received a grade of F.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the state has created new tools to prosecute people involved in human trafficking and added better support for victims.
“Kansas started out, like many states did, in the basement really in terms of our score on dealing with human trafficking. We’ve seen consistent increases, I believe, every year,” says Schmidt.
Schmidt says the report also notes areas where Kansas can improve, such as fighting the promotion of sex tourism. Schmidt says the state could still do more to assist victims of sex trafficking. That includes focusing more on helping victims and focusing less on crimes they may have committed.
“To try to be supportive of victims and to acknowledge that victims really are victims of trafficking, even if they’ve engaged in related criminal conduct themselves,” says Schmidt.
Schmidt says he’ll draft proposed legislation next year that could help improve on those areas.
More on this story from KPR's Stephen Koranda.