Send a message to pimps

When it gets around to actually passing some legislation, the 2013 Legislature should have no trouble finding consensus on Senate Bill 5488.

The measure attacks the trafficking of underage girls and boys on Internet sex sites, such as Backpage.com. It would replace last year’s flawed legislation, which received unanimous approval from lawmakers but was blocked by a legal challenge from Backpage. com.

Assuming the bill writers got it right this time, it shouldn’t take much debate for lawmakers to pass SB 5488. But in case they need a reminder about the horrors of the vile human sex trafficking trade, consider this:

 • 21 million people are being trafficked around the world, according to the International Labor Organization.

 • 17,500 people were trafficked into the United States in 2005, according to a State Department study.

 • 100,000 or more underage Americans have been forced into the sex trade in our country, according to the Human Trafficking Resource Center.

Of course, even the number one is unacceptable if that minor is your daughter or your son, or if it’s you who is being forced into sexual slavery.

Sex trafficking is an all-too-real crime that flies under most people’s radar. Passing SB 5488 sends a strong statement that pimps and traffickers aren’t wanted here.