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Human Trafficking

In 2012, West Virginia became one of the last states to adopt a statute outlawing human trafficking. Delegate Fleischauer was one of the sponsors of HB 4053. In 2013, she was the  lead sponsor of a bill adding additional protections to our human trafficking law (HB 2814). Passage of both the 2012 and 2013 legislation resulted in the State of West Virginia jumping ahead in comparative ratings of state human trafficking legislation. The 2013 bill provides victims with three new forms of assistance: 1) eligibility for assistance under the crime victims compensation act, 2) the ability to seek damages from traffickers, and 3) expungement of criminal convictions (such as prostitution).

In 2015, Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor of HB 2161, which passed both Houses, but was vetoed by the Governor on technical grounds. This bill, which adopts the Uniform Act on Prevention and Remedies for Human Trafficking, includes several important reforms; among other things, it is intended to provide services for victims to aid their transition into normal society. After again clearing both houses of the legislature in the 2016 session, after some changes, a new bill, HB 2318, was finally signed into law in the June 2017 special session.

Following the passage of the 2017 bill, Shared Hope International, an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking, changed West Virginia's rating on their annual report card from a D to a B, the greatest improvement of any state.

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