South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Kealy Bultena reported today that South Dakota ranked dead last in the ranking by the Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking and works with legislatures to develop laws to protect victims of human trafficking.
The Polaris Project’s 2013 ranking shows South Dakota as the only state labeled Tier 4. In the project’s description, that means South Dakota has "not made minimal efforts to enact a basic legal framework to combat human trafficking and should actively work to improve" laws, especially those that protect victims.
"Right now, South Dakota has a criminal law against both sex and labor trafficking," Senior Policy Counsel at Polaris Project James Dold says. "I think some of the things it could work on is making sure that a stand-alone asset forfeiture law is in place, making sure that there’s victim assistance provisions, safe harbor, as was mentioned earlier in the call, so that sexually exploited children aren’t arrested for prostitution-related offenses."I can only hope that South Dakota GOP will consider listening to a group like Polaris Project when it comes to crafting legislation instead of ALEC.