Senate OKs Bill To Toughen State Anti-Human Trafficking Laws 

State House - 2BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s anti-human trafficking laws.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Montigny, says the measure will close what he describes as a legal loophole that allows individuals to practice so-called “bodywork therapy” without having to meet the licensing requirements needed for massage therapy.

The New Bedford Democrat says the loophole allows human traffickers to maintain the facade of a legitimate business while operating in local communities. The bill would require licenses for bodywork practitioners.

The bill approved Saturday would also extend from three years to 10 years the time that victims can file civil suits against their traffickers. It would help law enforcement improve their data collection to better track human trafficking crimes.

The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.

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