Human trafficking and sex trafficking in Wichita, Kansas has been discussed more widely in recent years. Human trafficking involves recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person under 18 years of age know thing that the person will be used to engage in forced labor, involuntary servitude or sexual gratification of the defendant or another (K.S.A. 21-5426). Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Commercial sexual exploitation of a child occurs when individuals buy, trade or sell sexual acts with a child.
Human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of children in Wichita, Kansas is a growing concern. Human trafficking cases in Sedgwick County nearly tripled over the course of one year from 2012 to 2013. In April 2013, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law to strengthen the State’s human trafficking statutes, with an emphasis on protecting children from commercial exploitation.
The new law created the crime of “commercial exploitation of a child” and increased the penalties of crimes by buying, selling or promoting sale of sexual relations with persons under the age of 18. It also provided special Child in Need of Care procedures for children in Kansas who have been subjected to human trafficking and expedites expungement procedures for those children convicted of selling sexual relations if they were subject to coercion. Finally, the new law established a Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund to provide support for victims of human trafficking in Kansas. The fund is paid through mandatory fines on people convicted of human trafficking and related sex crimes.
If you suspect someone is a victim of sexual abuse, human trafficking, sex trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of a child in Wichita, Kansas or the surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.