NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) announced the enactment of Senate Bill 553, a bill aimed at providing greater protections and services to children who have been trafficked. The law becomes effective July 1, 2017.
“It’s important that we recognize the reality of human trafficking in our state and take a stand to protect our communities and children,” said Ketron. “This law is a step in protecting children from exploitation and ensuring that those who have been trafficked can receive the help they need.”
The bill adds the recognition of “trafficking for a commercial sex act” within the definition of “child sexual abuse” and “severe child abuse” which ensures that child welfare can intervene and provide services in the cases that involve any form of commercial sex exploitation of children.
The legislation also changes the definition of “caregiver” in state law to allow victims to receive child welfare intervention. This change helps to ensure that child sex trafficking victims are properly identified and that child welfare does not face barriers in responding to these young victims.
Ketron has been an advocate and a friend for the community fighting against human trafficking and was awarded the Human Trafficking Impact Award from End Slavery Tennessee in 2016.
“I am proud to build on the work over recent years to end human trafficking in Tennessee, and I am grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that has gone into making this progress possible,” added Ketron.