Louisiana Ranked Among Top States for Combating Human Trafficking

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

BATON ROUGE – The state of Louisiana has once again been recognized among the top states for its efforts to combat human trafficking. The rankings were released by Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedoms to survivors.  Louisiana was ranked as a Tier 1 state for the 3rd year in a row for its efforts to strengthen penalties for human traffickers and protect victims of these crimes. Polaris rates all 50 states and the District of Columbia annually based on 10 categories of laws that are critical to establishing a basic legal framework to effectively combat human trafficking, punish traffickers, and support survivors.

Tier 1 requires a state to have passed significant laws to combat human trafficking, and continue to take additional steps to improve and implement its laws.  A Tier 1 rating requires 7+ points out of 12.  Louisiana was given a score of 10 with only 7 states obtaining a higher score.  Additionally, this year Polaris chose to rate states separately based solely on categories that focus on victim’s assistance.  Louisiana was recognized as 1 of only 12 states that obtained a Tier 1 rating in victim’s assistance laws.

Governor Jindal said, “Human trafficking is a heinous crime and we must do everything we can to eradicate it. There are millions of women living in slavery today who hope every day for a way out of this terrible industry. That is why we’ve worked with legislators and law enforcement to be a voice for these victims and protect them by passing legislation that will help further crack down on the perpetrators of these crimes. We will continue building off of the work we accomplished last session to harshen penalties for human trafficking and connect victims with the protection and services they need. Together, we can end this modern form of slavery.”

“The Louisiana State Police is committed to continuing our efforts to combat human trafficking in our communities.  It remains a top priority for me and this agency,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent.  “What I am most proud of is not only the efforts of our Governor, the legislature and our public safety partners to hold accountable individuals and organizations that engage in human trafficking but the steps we have taken to ensure that the victims get the support and resources to heal, rebuild and recover from this unspeakable crime.”