Rep. Noem addresses lawmakers; stop human-sex trafficking - KOTA Territory News

Rep. Noem addresses lawmakers; stop human-sex trafficking

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U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) says a big focus for 2014 is to stop human-sex trafficking. 

While addressing the House and Senate Wednesday in the Capitol Building in Pierre, Noem said South Dakotans need to stop thinking of sex trafficking as an international problem.

She said 300,000 children each year are brought into these abusive situations, and until time and money are spent, the problem isn't going to go away.

Noem said it's possible to federally prosecute those who bring children into the sex trafficking industry, but not federally prosecute those who seek out the children. Noem said she sponsored a bill to change that. 

Additionally, Noem signed onto the National Safe Harbor Law, which says minors involved in sex trafficking are not criminals. "They will be treated like victims, like they are. Many times there is confusion, there are different definitions that have made it difficult for our federal officials, for our local officials, and for our state officials, to make those types of decisions," said Noem. "And this will make it a law that they are victims, that they are not criminals." 

On another topic, Noem said the Farm Bill is nearing completion. She said the committee is meeting Sunday to iron out any last kinks.  

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