Ducey signs legislation making it easier to prosecute child sex traffickers

doug ducey

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation to make an important change in the definition of child sex trafficking. House Bill 2238 appropriately replaces the term “child prostitution” with “child sex trafficking.”

“It’s time we start calling this horrendous crime what it is,” said Governor Ducey. “This legislation leaves no doubt that any criminal who attempts to engage in child sex trafficking will be prosecuted without reservation and to the fullest extent of the law. I commend the work of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Representative Eddie Farnsworth, and especially Cindy McCain to bring this bill to my desk. I am proud to work with them to help put an end to this modern-day slavery.”

“I am so pleased that Governor Ducey signed HB 2238 today. It is a monumental step in the fight against human trafficking,” said Cindy McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council. “There is no such thing as a child prostitute and I applaud the Governor and the legislature for enacting this legislation to allow Arizona statute to reflect that fact. Minors who are sold for sex are trafficked victims, not child prostitutes. This new legislation will aid prosecutors in cases against traffickers and it is a step in the right direction for minor trafficking victims who are fighting to regain their lives.”

Arizona law currently defines “child prostitution” and “trafficking” as separate offenses. House Bill 2238 combines these two offenses as “child sex trafficking,” providing a more accurate and updated definition of the sexual exploitation of children. The legislation also adds “child sex trafficking” to the list of offenses eligible for lifetime probation, increasing the severity of the punishment.