New Hampshire Group to Fight Human Trafficking

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney hopes to combat sex trafficking of minors and labor trafficking through the formation of a commission that aims to change the way law enforcement deals with its victims.

“New Hampshire citizens pay traffickers every weekend to exploit these women for personal satisfaction,” Delaney said, citing ads investigators have seen on the internet for sex with “very young women” in Portsmouth, Manchester, Salem, and Nashua.

Delaney said the scope of the problem is unclear because police departments statewide report cases differently — a dilemma the commission is expected to address. The victims of human trafficking are sometimes treated as criminals, when they need to be treated foremost as victims. New Hampshire in 2009 was among the first states to make human trafficking a crime, but a unified effort statewide is needed to put that law to work. Part of the commission’s mission would be to train law enforcement and other first responders on how to recognize victims of human trafficking.

“It is a horrific reality here in New Hampshire,” Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo said. “Although we know it’s happening here, we are not seeing enough people prosecuted.”

Learn more at Lynne Tuohy’s San Francisco Chronicle article: NH AG forms group to fight human trafficking.

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