State Legislature Passes Bills to Combat Human Trafficking, Child Exploitation

PINE BELT, Mississippi (WDAM) — The Mississippi State Legislature passed two bills aimed at helping to combat human trafficking and child exploitation before adjourning this session.

“I think it’s really important that we now focus on the ones who can’t really focus on themselves, and those are the underage children,” said State Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-District 41. .

The state legislature recently passed SB 2321. The bill allows ordinary people to target promoters of certain sex crimes.

“If you can find someone who is either the human trafficker or someone who somehow benefited from this whole chain of events of selling someone into prostitution or encouraging, promoting this person into prostitution and human trafficking, you can as a private citizen find out about this and sue them, you know, file private lawsuits for money against these people,” said Fillingane.

Both legislative bodies also passed SB 2246. Under current law, criminal investigators working in the attorney general’s office must go to the judge to file search or arrest warrants in person, according to Fillingane.

This bill helps speed up the process by allowing investigators to file electronically.

“If these few people spend all or most of their time doing nothing but traveling across the state to get search warrants and, you know, arrest warrants signed by judges , you know, that time could be better spent working on the cases,” Fillingane said.

He says these bills are all about helping those who cannot help themselves.

“We need to do what we can to update our statutes to ensure that these children are protected from the predators who really profit from them, not only the end user necessarily, but the person making the money, you know, promoting this type of activity, providing the means for it to be accomplished,” Fillingane said.

Both bills are now transferred to Governor Reeves’ office.

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