Marylee Underwood, staff attorney, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs

“Today is a great day for Kentucky’s kids! By unanimously passing the Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act, Kentucky legislators sent a clear message that modern day slavery has no place in this state. Victims of trafficking, especially children exploited in commercial sex, will be treated as victims rather than as criminals and be given access to healing services. Law enforcement will be more equipped to address this crime through training and a specialized Kentucky State Police unit. Convicted traffickers will pay for vital victims’ services through asset forfeiture and fines. These and other provisions will enable Kentucky to serve as a leader in addressing human trafficking and providing a safe harbor for trafficked children. On behalf of victim advocates, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, government agencies and child advocates, we thank the Kentucky legislature for passing HB 3.”

Tara Grieshop, chief policy officer, Kentucky Youth Advocates

“The Kentucky legislature took strong action for children today with the passage of HB 3 – the Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act. The Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children included this measure on the 2013 agenda, recognizing the extreme trauma inflicted on children who are subjected to human trafficking.  We commend the primary sponsors, Representative Overly and Representative Wuchner, for their tireless work with the many stakeholders to find a solution that puts children first and provides them with the services they need. We also recognize the work of the chairmen in their respective chambers, Representative Tilley and Senator Westerfield, for their support of the bill. Kentucky’s vulnerable kids will be safer thanks to the actions of the Kentucky legislature today.”