What is the second largest criminal industry in the world? Human trafficking. This past week FAU’s Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies hosted an event in hopes of bringing awareness to an every growing problem. Senator Sachs was invited to speak by Dr. Josephine Beoku-Betts, FAU Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies.

Senator Sachs speaking during the panel discussion at FAU

Senator Sachs speaking during the panel discussion at FAU

The Senator spoke on legislative issues, recognizing the problems, and addressing the solutions.  Senator Sachs discussed her appointment by Governor Crist to the Florida Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. She also talked in depth about two bills which became law in 2012 that aim to combat human trafficking in Florida.  The first was HB 7049, co-sponsored by Senator Sachs, which toughens penalties for human trafficking and provides the Office of Statewide Prosecution jurisdiction to pursue these cases. The other measure, the Florida Safe Harbor Act, is intended to provide a more coordinated response to address the child welfare service needs of sexually exploited children who are dependent.  Among other provisions, it allows law enforcement to process victims of human trafficking through safe houses instead of through the criminal justice system.