skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Report Outlines Ways Virginia Can Reduce Human Trafficking

play audio
Play

Friday, February 24, 2023   

Virginia could be doing more to prevent human trafficking and help survivors, according to the latest report from a state commission tasked with studying the issue.

The Commission on Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support found enforcement hasn't been consistent in the state, and said a regional approach would better coordinate law-enforcement efforts. The commission's report also said it's important to seek accountability - not only from traffickers, but those who benefit from criminal conduct and the people who create a demand for this vulnerable workforce.

Alex Delgado, public policy manager for ECPAT-USA, a nonprofit that works to stop child trafficking, said he thinks the report should have addressed eliminating life sentences without parole for minors.

"It would definitely be a big step forward in helping support survivors of human trafficking," he said, "especially minors who were forced to do criminal acts by their trafficker, that are then given life in jail even though they're minors, and it's clearly something that was done under duress and manipulation."

In 2020, Virginia was awarded a grant to develop services for underage victims of sex trafficking. These include referral and case-management services, a dedicated residential facility for juveniles, and free legal services for young survivors of trafficking.

The commission's report also described how Virginia can provide more equitable access to care for trafficking survivors. It suggested partnering with nonprofits and the private sector to increase resources for their mental and behavioral health needs. Now that the report is out, Delgado stressed that sincere action must be taken on its findings.

"You simply can't just have the report and then not take any of those steps forward," he said. "It needs to come with action, and both the governor and the Virginia Legislature need to make sure they're introducing this legislation, and following through with what the commission has put forward."

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 140 cases of human trafficking were identified in Virginia in 2021, involving 179 victims.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Colorado's I Matter program provides adolescents in crisis access to six free mental-health counseling sessions, with referrals for further help if it is necessary. (Pexels)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021