by MOLLY MOSER and LINDSAY TOSTE
The Assembly Committee on Judiciary met this morning to discuss three bills concerning sex trafficking and the exploitation of minors. Human trafficking, whether it be forcibly imposed domestic duties, physical or sexual abuse, is an ongoing and detrimental problem in Nevada with over 120 reports of these occurrences in the past few years.
One of the three bills discussed by the committee was Assembly Bill 146, which would change the classification of human trafficking from a Type-B to a Type-A felony. This change would change minimum sentencing those convicted of sex trafficking to a life term in prison with an option for parole after 15 years. The current sentence structure allows for prison terms of five years or fewer. James Dold, senior policy counsel for Polaris Project, spoke on behalf of the three bills. He shared his childhood experience as a victim of human trafficking.
“It’s just justice, it’s this idea that we have in the criminal justice system of justice for the victims and when we talk about human trafficking, it’s the manifestation of modern-day slavery,” Dold says.
The bill also introduces sexual exploitation into the definition of human trafficking. By incorporating sex trafficking in the bill’s definition, harsher punishment is allowed for individuals convicted of trafficking and exploiting children. If the Bill is passed, children who have been the victims of sex trafficking or exploitation will have a gateway to greater help and protection.