Florida Steps Up Battle Against Human Trafficking

Florida is increasing its arsenal of laws to combat human trafficking.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7063, in Coral Gables Monday, that aims to target the sex trade and help its victims.

"Anybody actively involved in human trafficking in Florida is going to have the book thrown at them," he said.

DeSantis vowed to commit nearly $5,000,000 in the state budget for rescued victims to have a place to stay, counseling, and other resources.

He also set aside a $900,000 grant for law enforcement training to deal with human trafficking cases.

Among other things, the law prohibits adult entertainment businesses from employing people younger than 21 years of age.

"Why are we allowing 18-year-olds to go in there and to either be exploited by someone else's choice or their own so that they think it's okay when they can't even purchase alcohol and cigarettes until they're 21," rescued human trafficking victim Kim Figueroa asked rhetorically. "It just doesn't make sense."

The Governor added, we are going to see more signage.

"Florida rest areas, service plazas, emergency rooms, massage parlors, strip clubs or other places where trafficking can occur [will] display human trafficking awareness signs with telephone numbers for either the national or Florida human trafficking hotlines," he said.

The Florida Human Trafficking hotline is: 855-FLA-SAVE (352-7283). The National Hotline is: 888-373-7888.

The bill takes effect July 1.

Businessman in car giving money to prostitute, illegal sex trade, female escort

Photo: Motortion / iStock / Getty Images

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