PROVIDENCE– An Associated Press investigation has found that a General Assembly task force created to combat human trafficking two years ago has yet to meet. Additionally, several appointees said they were unaware they had been named to the task force, the AP said.
The failure of the task force to form means it did not meet a Dec. 31, 2010, deadline to outline and report the extent of the human-trafficking problem among sex workers in the state, which banned indoor prostitution two years ago, the AP said.
Additionally, the AP found spotty compliance with another aspect of the law: reporting requirements for people arrested, prosecuted and fined for human trafficking.
An AP review of reports submitted to Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, who prosecutes all state human-trafficking cases, showed data missing from 12 communities, including Providence, Woonsocket and Pawtucket.
Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence, who sponsored the human-trafficking measure, told the AP the Rhode Island Coalition Against Human Trafficking serves the function of the task force and is a suitable substitute.
Coalition co-chairwoman Tammy Dudman said there are about 30 illegal brothels statewide employing about 10 women each who see 10 to 20 male customers daily, Dudman told the AP. •