LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s ability to fight human trafficking has improved substantially over the last several years thanks to recent state laws that increase penalties for traffickers, the state’s attorney general said Monday.
Attorney General Doug Peterson said Nebraska is now well-positioned to address the problem.
“Right now I believe we’ve got the laws, we’ve got the penalties,” he said to reporters after Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaimed Monday as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. “It’s now our responsibility to investigate and prosecute.”
Peterson has made sex and labor trafficking a top priority since he took office in 2015, working each year with lawmakers to pass new laws aimed at pimps and other traffickers. He said he doesn’t see a need for legislation in his year’s session but is willing to talk with lawmakers who have ideas of their own.
Nebraska received an “A” grade for its policies last year from Shared Hope International, a group that advocates on the issue of human trafficking.
Assistant Attorney General Glen Parks said sex and labor trafficking are both substantial problems, but labor trafficking is more difficult to track.