N.J. gets perfect score for human trafficking laws

     Holly Austin Smith is a survivor of a sex-trafficking scheme in Atlantic City. (Nathaniel Hamilton/For NewsWorks)

    Holly Austin Smith is a survivor of a sex-trafficking scheme in Atlantic City. (Nathaniel Hamilton/For NewsWorks)

    The Polaris Project, a national nonprofit aimed at fighting human trafficking, has released its 2013 state ratings on human trafficking laws today. In our region, New Jersey has received a perfect score.

    The Polaris Project, a national nonprofit aimed at fighting human trafficking, has released its 2013 state ratings on human trafficking laws today.

    The rankings take a look at each state’s laws against human trafficking, and this year’s report shows national progress, and good things happening in New Jersey

    Polaris finds that all 50 states now have laws which specifically define and target human trafficking.

    The ratings grouped states into four tiers. Tier one is the best score possible, and reflects states that have a comprehensive legal framework to prosecute human traffickers and protect victims.

    Tier four is the worst, reflecting only very basic laws. Tier four states have no victim assistance, no specific training for law enforcement and no special laws in place to afford additional protections for minors who are victims of human trafficking. South Dakota is the only tier four state.

    In our region, New Jersey has received a perfect score. James Dold, senior policy counsel at the Polaris Project, credits the score to the work of former state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.

    “New Jersey received a dual recognition of being both the most improved as well as one of the first states to get a perfect score on our state ratings map,” Dold said.

    Pennsylvania, however, is at tier two, and Delaware is a tier three, showing that there is still work to be done.

    See a summary of the report here

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