"An Act relating to human trafficking; relating to sex tourism; relating to procurement from a person conducting business in or having headquarters in countries that support or ignore slavery and trafficking in persons; and providing for an effective date. "
" ... the Special Crimes Unit of the Anchorage Police Department reports that sex trafficking rings currently exist in Alaska."
- Sen. Dyson
Trafficking is considered modern-day slavery. The U.S. State Department believes that as many as 4 million people, mostly women and children, are trafficked for sexual or labor purposes each year, with as many as 1 million trafficked across international borders. Many are kidnapped or sold into bondage, and many others are tricked with false promises. This international plague is a $7 billion industry, mainly interwoven in organized crime.
The federal government has recently begun an aggressive campaign to combat trafficking in persons. In the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the State Department evaluates the standards set in foreign countries in order to fight trafficking. The countries with the most permissive climate for trafficking are listed in Tier III of the report and are then subject to non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.
Regarding the status of trafficking in Alaska, the Special Crimes Unit of the Anchorage Police Department reports that sex trafficking rings currently exist in Alaska. In some instances, law enforcement personnel have identified massage parlors that are part of a sex trafficking network that takes advantage of vulnerable women from Asia. Also, runaways are also lured into and then trapped into the sex trafficking industry. Sometimes, these women are shuttled back and forth with our Canadian neighbors.
SB 12 amends the state procurement code to direct the Legislature, the Court System, and the Executive Branch to prohibit or eliminate financial relationships with organizations that are headquartered in countries with the most permissive climate for human trafficking. Alaskan agencies may also restrict relationships with organizations that conduct business in, but are not necessarily headquartered in, countries listed in Tier III.