You’ve heard a lot from us lately on what The Junior League is doing about human trafficking, particularly in terms of sexual trafficking of women and minors. It was an important topic at this year’s Annual Conference, and legislative action in New York, New Jersey and Michigan has been spearheaded by League SPACs, or State Public Affairs Committees, in those states. Now we can add Nevada to the fight.

The Junior League of Reno and its members were vigorous supporters of legislation recently signed into law by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and sponsored by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto that increases the penalties for human trafficking, bringing them into line with federal penalties, while providing additional rights for victims, including confidentiality provisions previously missing. Demonstrating JLR’s commitment to the issue, the League’s Advocacy Committee has made human trafficking its focus for the 2012-2013 year.

Junior League of Reno members with Nevada Governor Sandoval at signing of Assembly Bill 67
Junior League of Reno members with Nevada Governor Sandoval at signing of Assembly Bill 67

This is a big deal for Nevada, which is a major destination for domestic minor sex trafficking victims. But it is also a major issue for other states, particularly those with high-profile sporting events and casinos.

JLR members are being urged by leadership to support these and other legislative initiatives as well as supporting awareness campaigns at the local level. Plans include working with Awaken, a Reno-based nonprofit dedicated to helping human trafficking victims, in expanding a professional network of doctors, dentists, mentors, and other professionals for victims on an emergency basis while also providing mentors to Awaken’s clients in areas like learning job skills or resume writing.

Good work, Reno!