Kansas lawmakers increase penalties for human trafficking

Lack, violation of human rights liberty. Young lonely woman sitting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas senators unanimously have passed a bill that would toughen the state's laws on human trafficking.

The bill approved on Thursday creates new crimes related to trafficking and toughens some existing laws. The House passed it unanimously on Monday. It now goes to GOP Gov. Sam Brownback for a signature.

The bill would create new crimes related to human trafficking, such as using communication devices to facilitate human trafficking or knowingly selling travel services connected with human trafficking. It also would create the crime of internet trading child pornography.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt backed the bill and told lawmakers in written testimony that Kansas' response to human trafficking has improved. According to Schmidt's testimony, victim offices served 463 victims of human trafficking last fiscal year, up from two in 2009.

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