human trafficking

School Safety Measure, Funding Fails Last Minute

Mar 15, 2018
(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

The same day students across the nation staged demonstrations around school safety, Indiana lawmakers failed to pass a bill to address the same issue in the final minutes of the 2018 legislative session. It passed the Senate, but lawmakers in the House failed to vote on the bill before the midnight deadline.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Legislation unanimously approved in a Senate committee Tuesday aims to strengthen Indiana’s human trafficking laws.

The bill makes several changes to current statute. It separates out labor trafficking and sex trafficking and better defines them both.

It also takes out the requirement in law that force must be involved in trafficking, because Rep. Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) says that can be difficult to prove.

flick.comphotos7776581, Nels Olsen

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, in Tippecanoe County are learning to identify youths who are at-risk of becoming human trafficking victims. They’re also learning how to talk about the issue when red flags appear.

County CASA Executive Director Coleen Connor says human trafficking may not yet be a significant problem, locally. But she wants to prepare the volunteers for what’s likely to come in the future.


Lawmakers and youth advocates say they’re looking for legislation next session to help address suicide prevention and human trafficking.

Indiana law requires new teachers to be trained in suicide prevention. But that law only took effect three years ago, meaning there’s no required training for most of the teaching workforce.

Thibaud Saintin /

Federal, state and local law enforcement are increasing public awareness and enforcement efforts surrounding human trafficking as Indiana prepares for the Indianapolis 500. 

Officials say Indiana is a “hub” for human sex trafficking because of the large sporting events it often hosts.

Noah Coffey /

Lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday aimed at the exotic dancing industry.  The new regulations are legislators’ latest effort to reduce human trafficking in the state.

The original bill had to do with seizing property related to human trafficking and establishing a prevention and victim assistance fund.  A late addition to the measure imposes new requirements on strip clubs.  Mount Vernon Republican Representative Wendy McNamara says that includes a mandate that the facilities must require two forms of ID from their dancers, verifying age and legal status.

Truitt/Wright Human Trafficking Bill Awaiting Gov's Signature

Mar 17, 2015
Jim Nix /

A bipartisan bill that aims to protect child human trafficking victims is on its way to the Governor’s office for a signature.

The bill, co-authored by House Reps. Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) and Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown), aims to speed up the rescue of child victims of human trafficking.   

If the measure is signed into law, trafficking pamphlets with national phone numbers and resources will be given to both law enforcement agencies and anyone who files a missing child report.

Indiana is joining 15 other states in a billboard campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. 

About 21 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. An estimated one-and-a-half million of them are in the United States, many of them minors recruited for prostitution.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says a new statewide billboard campaign features messages that encourage community engagement.

Indiana Continues Fight Against Human Trafficking

Feb 2, 2015

Human trafficking is often a hidden crime, but it is one of the fastest growing in Indiana and around the nation.

Some 27 million people around the globe are said to be victims, forced to work at manual labor or in the sex industry.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says in the case of sex trafficking, the victims often have been exploited since childhood.

Those who work with young people in Tippecanoe County are being enlisted to fight human trafficking.

The Indiana Youth Institute is partnering with community organizations to sponsor a free workshop.

The West Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network is one of the groups that helped bring the program to the area.

Regional Director Jillian Miller says those who attend will learn how to identify and report the growing problem.