Van Werven appointed to Task Force Against the Trafficking of Persons
Rep. Luanne Van Werven was recently appointed to the Task Force Against the Trafficking of Persons by House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle.
The task force is part of comprehensive legislation, Senate Bill 5884, passed by the Legislature during the 2015 legislative session to reduce human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The task force must:
- evaluate progress in Washington's anti-trafficking activities and services;
- consider anti-trafficking services and resources provided by other states;
- review the effectiveness of Washington's anti-trafficking laws; and
- recommend necessary changes to the governor and Legislature.
“The problem of human trafficking and sexual exploitation is an issue that concerns me deeply. Whatcom County's proximity to the Canadian border and the I-5 corridor makes us vulnerable to this unlawful and tragic activity,” said Van Werven, R-Lynden. “I look forward to strengthening anti-trafficking efforts and reviewing the need for support and services for victims in need.”
Washington had a task force against human trafficking until June 30, 2004. The task force has been reestablished under the new law. The task force consists of one member of each of the two caucuses in the House and the Senate, representatives of public agencies, organizations who serve trafficking victims and survivors, or work on trafficking issues, and at least one human trafficking survivor.
The Department of Commerce Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) must create and maintain an information portal serving as the state government contact regarding human trafficking. The OCVA will also provide the administrative support for the task force.
In 2003 Washington was the first state to make human trafficking a crime. Since 2002 the Washington State Legislature has enacted 38 laws to combat human trafficking.
###Washington State House Republican Communications