DES MOINES—As Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird today announced a bill to combat human trafficking. The bill heightens penalties for human traffickers and ensures victims receive the care they deserve.
The Iowa Office to Combat Human Trafficking reported a 151% increase in trafficking tips and leads from January through October 2021 to the same timeframe in 2022. Globally, an estimated 27 million people are exploited by the abuses of human trafficking at any given time, regardless of age, background, or nationality.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it’s time we treat it that way,” said Attorney General Bird. “This bill requires prison time for criminal traffickers and offers necessary support to survivors. As the human trafficking crisis worsens, we are sending a zero-tolerance message. We won’t stop fighting until victims get the support and justice they deserve. I’m grateful to the Iowa House and Senate for passing the bill through subcommittee.”
Attorney General Bird’s proposed bill passed out of subcommittees in the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives. The bill will do the following:
- Require human traffickers convicted of level “B” felonies to serve a mandatory minimum of 50% to 70% of their sentence without parole.
- Provide victims of human trafficking access to an advocate for support during criminal proceedings.
- Provide court-appointed counsel during criminal cases for witnesses with a mental disability.
Read HSB 530 here.
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Alyssa Brouillet | Communications Director