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Grades Are In: The Weakest Anti-Trafficking States


Anti-trafficking advocates say some of America's most populated states could become safety zones for predators unless they begin to strengthen laws against buyers.

Shared Hope International, an anti-trafficking non-profit based in Washington, D.C., says New York and California in particular face the risk of becoming key trafficking destinations. Both states have weak laws against the buyers of commercial sex with children.

For instance, California and New York do not require a buyer convicted of human trafficking to register as a sex offender.

Shared Hope released its 4th annual "report card" this week. It grades states on the strengths and weaknesses of their child sex trafficking laws.

Louisiana earned an A+, the highest score. Tennessee and Washington also earned "A's."  Pennsylvania, Colorado and Delaware made the most progress, raising their grades by two.  States with failing scores include Maine, California and South Dakota.

In the last four years, Shared Hope reports that 42 states have raised their grade.  In 2014, 37 states enacted 123 bills relating to domestic child sex trafficking.

Buying sex with a child is considered a felony in all 50 states. Shared Hope estimates that more than 100,000 American children are victims of child sex trafficking each yea

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