For Immediate Release: March 7, 2007
Senator Debbe Leftwich
Senate Approves Bill to Fight Human Trafficking
Legislation to make human trafficking a felony
in Oklahoma has won unanimous approval from the State Senate.
Senate Bill 7, by Sen. Debbe
Leftwich, would set a mandatory minimum of five years for
engaging in human trafficking, and a minimum of 10 years in
prison if the crime involved trafficking children 14 years of
age or younger.
“Human trafficking is rampant in this country. According
to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, between
14,500 and 17,500 men, women and children are trafficked right
here in the United States,” Leftwich said. “Sometimes
they are forced to work under horrendous conditions for no pay—often
they are forced into prostitution. The ugly fact is slavery
is alive and well in this country, and often the victims are
The Department of Health and Human Services also reports that
after drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms
dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world,
and is the fastest growing criminal activity. According to the
U.S. State Department, more than half of all trafficking victims
worldwide are children.
“We’ve had cases right here in Oklahoma where prostitution
rings have been busted and law enforcement has learned those
responsible were exploiting children,” Leftwich said.
“My legislation gives us one more tool to go after the
monsters responsible for this crime.”
SB 7 now moves to the House of Representatives for committee
For more information contact:
Senator Leftwich's Office - (405) 521-5557