Signs with a hotline to report human trafficking will be placed in many establishments if a bill by Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) is passed. Leach is introducing two measures on human trafficking this year. Under the first, a hotline number will be placed in massage parlors, spas, and hotels, liquor stores, adult entertainment clubs, transit hubs, and hotels deemed to be a "nuisance" in the state.
Leach says that human trafficking is a huge problem in Pennsylvania. "To give you some sense of it. It's the second most pervasive crime in the world, after drug trafficking. And Pennsylvania is one of the major states for human trafficking because it's a crossroads for a lot of different areas. So we have a lot of different human trafficking."
Leach's second bill would allow victims of human trafficking to use their situation, if proven, as a defense for prostitution charges. Past victims could also have their records expunged if they prove they were victims.
Leach says the bill failed to make it through committee last year, but is hopeful that it will become law soon. He says that he has the support of many organizations representing establishments that could be effected by it.