By Stella Dawson for Reuters on September 17, 2014—
“A rising number of U.S. states have strengthened laws to combat human trafficking in the past year but programs to help victims of forced prostitution and labor are lagging behind, according to a report by an anti-slavery group on Wednesday.
Thirty-nine of the 50 U.S. states scored well in the 2014 ranking by the non-government organization Polaris Project that measures sex and labor trafficking measures across the United States. This was an increase of seven states from 2013.
Delaware joined New Jersey and Washington with perfect scores based on the 10 measures that Polaris views as critical to a basic legal framework to combat trafficking, punish traffickers and support survivors.
South Dakota and North Dakota were ranked last for taking only nominal steps to pass laws against forced labor and the involuntary sale of sex – although this was an improvement for South Dakota which made no efforts according to 2013 rankings.
“Even in just the last four years, there has been remarkable progress. Most of the states are in the top tier and for the first time none are in the bottom tier,” Brittany Vanderhoof, policy counsel at Polaris, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.”
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