Loudenbeck's child-trafficking bill becomes law
By STAFF Tuesday, April 10, 2012
MADISON — A bill to combat child trafficking in Wisconsin, co-authored by Rep. Amy Loudnebeck (R-Clinton) and Sen. Van Wanggard (R-Racine), was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker yesterday.
The provisions in the new law make it a felony for a person to knowingly access child pornography, extends the statute of limitations to prosecute child trafficking, gives the victims of certain child sex crimes more protection, allows for wiretapping to investigate certain child sex crimes, and make crime victim compensation funds available to victims of certain child sex crimes.
The bill also allows for involuntary termination of parental rights if an adult commits child trafficking against not only their own children, but any child.
Loudenbeck spokesperson Lonna Morouney said Loudenbeck had been drawn to the legislation by a request from Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to strengthen laws against human trafficking in the state.
Loudenbeck also read a 2008 survey by the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, Hidden in Plain Sight, which noted human trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world, generating $32 billion annually, according to the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency.
The definitive scope of human trafficking, according to the report, covers not only sexual exploitation, but forced labor, such as factory workers laboring in unsafe conditions.
Because it is more of a hidden crime, the numbers of human trafficking cases are difficult to track, but the Office of Justice Assistance estimated about 200 cases since 2000 in the state.