Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a measure that addresses one of her top priorities of the legislative session. Based on recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking – established by Governor Brewer in April 2013 – HB 2454 strengthens state law to increase penalties for human trafficking while improving and enhancing protective measures for the victimized and vulnerable.
“This is a proud and significant day for Arizona, particularly for those who have been personally affected by the horrendous crime of human trafficking,” said Governor Brewer. “There is much more work to be done in our fight to eliminate this atrocious modern-day slavery, but in signing this legislation and implementing critical measures, we take another good step forward in the right direction. And I look forward working with the Arizona Human Trafficking Council to do more. I am grateful to my Human Trafficking Task Force for its contributions, and to Representative Eddie Farnsworth, Representative Coleman and Senator Driggs for their hard work in support of this critical legislation.”
Crafted around the Task Force’s recommendations submitted to Governor Brewer in September 2013, HB 2454 strengthens penalties against traffickers, johns and those who are involved in the trafficking of persons, and works to further protect and assist victims of trafficking. Included in its provisions, the bill specifically: creates a separate and higher sentencing structure for traffickers that increases the presumptive sentence; strengthens the language of the statute regarding johns who engage in prostitution with minors; adds child prostitution, sex trafficking and labor trafficking to the list of acts that constitute racketeering; requires licensed escort and massage therapy businesses to include their license number in any advertisement for services, and to keep on file proof of the age of anyone depicted in an advertisement; and establishes advertising a minor for prostitution, when a visual depiction of the minor is included in the advertisement, as a class 2 felony, among others.