A state senator has sponsored a bill that she hopes sends the message that Nebraska is no longer open to the human trafficking business.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln says her proposal comes after consulting with the Attorney General and the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force as well as the Women’s Fund of Omaha.
Pansing Brooks says human trafficking is a growing problem in Nebraska.
“It’s really important, because the traffickers and purchasers are preying on the most vulnerable individuals and on children in Nebraska and we just cannot allow this to happen anymore,” Pansing Brooks tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Her bill would increase the penalties for the trafficking of minors, for threatening to physically harm or actually physically harming someone to force them to engage in sexual trafficking, and for anyone who solicits a victim of sex trafficking.
“We have increased the penalties significantly for both the traffickers and the purchasers and we are attempting to just say Nebraska is no longer open to trafficking business,” according to Pansing Brooks.
Last legislative session, Pansing Brooks successfully sponsored legislation to grant victims of human trafficking immunity from prosecution for prostitution.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.