RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) – Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli met with members of the General Assembly Tuesday in a bipartisan effort to promote new legislation to fight human trafficking.
The meeting also served as an introduction to a series of two-day-long human trafficking training conferences – which begin Wednesday in Northern Virginia – for law enforcement and prosecutors in all regions of the commonwealth over the next six months.
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the country,” Cuccinelli in a press release. “Besides working to get Virginia’s laws strengthened, it is a major priority of my office to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim-witness coordinators how to identify, prosecute and prevent trafficking to rid our commonwealth and our nation of this scourge.”
Cuccinelli went on to explain that traffickers profit from the control and exploitation of children and adults, using threat, force or coercion to exploit them for forced labor or sexual servitude.
“And it is happening right here in our commonwealth,” Cuccinelli said. “That is why we are working to strengthen Virginia’s anti-trafficking laws – so we can try to put an end to these types of tragedies.”
Currently there are three trafficking bills being presented in the General Assembly that Cuccinelli supports. Each of the three bills include either increased penalties for soliciting prostitution from a minor or give officers multi-jurisdictional authority while investigating human trafficking.
He’s been pursuing these crimes for several years, dating back to when he introduced anti-trafficking legislation and served on the Human Trafficking Commission as a senator, which is when he first developed a plan for trafficking prevention in Virginia. He’s implemented that plan at every level of office he’s held since.