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Okla. House Passes Human Trafficking Measure (Mar 07, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Legislation designed to help protect sex trafficking victims has been approved by the Oklahoma House.

The measure by Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma City passed 93-0 Wednesday. It expands the definition of human trafficking to include recruiting, harboring and transporting a minor for purposes of prostitution.

Lawmakers approved the measure just days after Oklahoma City police intervened on behalf of a 15-year-old girl who allegedly was soliciting prostitution on the city's south side. Authorities are working to identify the individuals who exploited the girl.

The bill also prohibits claiming a minor's consent as a defense. Sex traffickers often target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and use violence, threats and other forms of control to keep them involved in the sex industry.

The bill will be considered by the Senate.


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