Prevention through information- new PA bill looks to expose sex trafficking risks to college students

26 June 2024- State Rep. Robert Leadbeter (R-Columbia) issued the following statement in response to the House Education Committee approving his legislation on anti-human trafficking prevention in higher education:

“My legislation, House Bill 93, which prevailed in the House Education Committee with a bi-partisan vote, will now go to the House floor for a vote. This legislation would direct public institutions of higher education to provide all first-year students with the opportunity to attend one of three voluntary on-campus, sex trafficking and exploitation prevention and education programs.

“House Bill 93 would be an essential tool to combat human trafficking here in Pennsylvania, especially directed toward one of our most vulnerable populations – young adults. First-year college students are, unfortunately, ideal candidates for human traffickers because college typically is their first experience away from home, full of independence and curiosity.

“The legislation would create an education based on traffickers’ tactics and help students recognize and avoid dangerous situations. Not only does this increase their knowledge of human trafficking, but it also empowers students to protect themselves and their peers.

“In addition, my legislation would make students aware of healing resources and programs to victims who already faced human trafficking. Victims should feel safe while on their college campus.

“Since taking office, my unwavering commitment to human trafficking victims and those preyed upon has been relentless. This dedication has provided tangible results. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and organizations across the Commonwealth and beyond to fulfill this promise. Monday’s vote marks a pivotal step in ending human trafficking in Pennsylvania.

“As we move forward, I will passionately advocate for House Bill 93 and ensure young Pennsylvanians are educated on human trafficking and equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves. Together, we will forge a safer future for all.”