Reps. Blanton and Mayfield take action to combat child sex trafficking

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (February 7, 2018) – Reps. John Blanton of Salyersville and Donna Mayfield of Winchester have teamed up to file resolutions aimed at disrupting the growing child sex trafficking problem.

House Resolution 134 encourages the Commonwealth’s residents and government agencies to only utilize hotels, motels, and venues who have signed the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (also known as ‘The Code’). Meanwhile, House Concurrent Resolution 93 urges Congress to amend federal statutes that currently do not permit the prosecution of Websites that advertise sex trafficking.

Hotels and motels are among the most commonly reported venues for child sex trafficking, accounting for the location for the exploitation of 45% of youth victims, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. ‘The Code’ is an already-established initiative aimed at ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and requires companies to train employees on methods of prevention and how to report suspected cases.

“The hospitality industry can play a critical role in ending human trafficking,” said Rep. Blanton, a former state police officer. “The state has a vested interest in the safety of its citizens and visitors, and raising awareness for businesses who are joining us in this fight is a strong step towards exposing human trafficking.”

HCR 93 seeks to clear up confusion left by federal courts.

“Human trafficking has increased in an enormous way over the past decade, and our government must do more to protect children,” said Mayfield, a former employee of the U.S. Marshals Service. “My resolution will give investigators more freedom to shut down online classified advertisements for sex, so that we can truly take action to stop human trafficking in all forms.”

Following the legislative session on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Reps. Blanton and Mayfield were joined by fellow advocates on the House floor, including Mary Kunze of the Family Foundation and Ked Frank, Executive Director of the Refuge for Women.

HR 134 was adopted by a voice vote on the House floor, and now will be sent to Governor Bevin for distribution to all executive branch agencies. HCR 93 has been assigned to the House Committee on Small Business and Information Technology, where it currently awaits action.