Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill to combat human trafficking and exploitation of underage sex workers.
The governor signed the bill Monday saying it will provide increased criminal penalties and services for victims of sexual exploitation.
“This will not only strengthen our ability to severely punish traffickers, but it will give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break the cycle of exploitation,” says Brownback.
The bill modifies Kansas human trafficking laws passed nearly a decade ago. It creates the crime of commercial sexual exploitation of a child, covering those ages 14 to 17.
The bill will establish a fund financed with fines and forfeiture of property from people convicted of sex crimes. The revenue will be used to pay for treatment and services for the victims.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says part of the goal is shifting the focus from underage victims who work in the sex industry to people who buy their services.