BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB/AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law four bills that target human trafficking in Louisiana, agreeing to toughen penalties and seeking to steer victims to available services.
"These bills give the victims the protections they need to rid this state; to rid Louisiana of this awful, awful crime," said Jindal.
Trafficking victims' support groups say the measures signed Monday are a model for other states to follow.
The most sweeping legislation is by New Orleans Rep. Neil Abramson, a Democrat. The bill creates harsher punishments for human trafficking and related crimes and requires training for law enforcement to recognize it.
Another new law on the books allows courts to create specialized divisions to handle human trafficking cases.
Jindal also signed a requirement that women seeking an abortion receive information about the illegality of coerced abortions and services available to human-trafficking victims.
House Bills 569, 1025 and 1262 can be found at www.legis.la.gov