The 2013 Polaris Project State Rankings have moved Virginia into the top category (Tier 1) for its efforts in fighting human trafficking, up from the lowest category (Tier 4) in 2010.
2013 marks the fourth year that the Polaris Project, a national advocacy organization focused on human trafficking, has graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranking them in one of four tiers. The ranking is based on ten categories of laws critical to establishing a basic legal framework to combat human trafficking, punish traffickers, and support survivors.
“Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. The objectification and exploitation of other humans for financial gain is deplorable and as elected officials, we must do all we can to bring justice to anyone who engages in or supports human trafficking. Equally as important, we must work together to heal the deep and complex wounds that victims experience,” stated Governor McDonnell. “I’m pleased with the progress that Virginia has made by enacting tougher legislation and hope the education and advocacy aspects of the human trafficking effort continue to gain support from all concerned Virginians.”
“We are grateful, encouraged and inspired by the support and passion that has come from Governor McDonnell, his administration and the legislators who championed these bills,” said Sara Pomeroy, Founder and Director of the Richmond Justice Initiative. “That support combined with the fight for justice from everyday citizens is the reason that, in just 3 years, Virginia has moved from being one of the worst, to one of the best states in the country when it comes to combating slavery and trafficking.”
Learn more at Jenna Zibton’s WSLS News article: Virginia Moves to Top of Polaris Project 2013 Anti-Human Trafficking State Rankings.