Attorney General Tim Fox Launches Poster Campaign Against Human Trafficking
Attorney General Tim Fox announced today a poster campaign designed to raise public awareness of human trafficking resources. The poster was created by the Montana Department of Justice as a requirement of HB 488.
“Many of our neighbors may view human trafficking as a problem that happens elsewhere. The fact of the matter is, human trafficking happens right here in Montana,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “Put simply, human trafficking is the selling of human beings for profit through forced labor, sexual exploitation, or involuntary domestic servitude. To put it in even plainer terms, human trafficking is modern-day slavery.”
Per legislative mandate, the poster is written in both English and Spanish and displays a QR code and a toll-free help-line number administered by the Polaris Project, a national non-profit working to end human trafficking. The Montana Department of Transportation will post them at all rest stops along highways statewide, as legislatively required. Additionally, MDOT will coordinate posting in city park rest areas in communities across Montana. The Attorney General’s Office will soon begin the rulemaking process to determine which other locations will be required by law to display the poster. The poster is available for printing by visiting the Montana Department of Justice website at:
Earlier this year, the Montana legislature strengthened Montana’s laws against human trafficking by passing HB 478 (Laszloffy – Billings). The Attorney General’s Office supported those measures. In addition, Montana has several laws related to human trafficking. They include those that protect people against being trafficked for involuntary servitude, sexual servitude or abuse of a child, and promoting prostitution. HB 488 (Gursky – Missoula) was passed, which specified the human trafficking poster’s wording and other key elements, and required the posters to be placed in Montana’s rest areas.
Attorney General Fox was joined at this afternoon’s capitol press conference by Assistant Attorney General Ole Olson, a member of the Montana Human Trafficking Task Force; Diane Yarus of Whitefish, who advocated for the creation of the poster; DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Bryan Lockerby; and Dana Toole, Director of DOJ’s Children’s Justice Center.
Human trafficking has been identified as a $32 billion/ year industry and is the fastest growing element of the criminal industry in the world.