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January 27, 2006

CT Interagency Task Force proposes pro-active legislation

Via the Boston Globe: Report recommends new laws to combat human trafficking.
By Susan Haigh, AP Political Writer | January 23, 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. --Following isolated reports of human trafficking in Connecticut, a task force is expected this week to recommend legislation making the practice a crime.

The Connecticut Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons intends to increase public awareness and educate law enforcement and domestic violence advocates about how to recognize a trafficked victim, typically an immigrant who has been tricked and ultimately forced into the sex trade or low-skilled, manual labor.

"I really look at this as pro-active legislation," said state Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, who began working on the issue three years ago. "We need to have some laws in place. And most important, we need to train and educate our police on both the local and state level as to how to recognize it and what to do about it."

The task force, which Stillman heads, is scheduled to unveil its report at a news conference at the state Legislative Office Building on Wednesday. The legislative session begins Feb. 8.

The report comes after a Connecticut businessman pleaded not guilty in federal court last week to charges of illegally recruiting Portuguese immigrants to work excessively long hours for low wages in his Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and home.

Jose Calhelha, 46, was charged with illegally transporting and harboring illegal aliens. He faces up to 70 years in prison and fines of up to $1.75 million if convicted.
Great work is being done in Connecticut!


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