State senator to introduce bill to help fight human trafficking

ORLANDO, Fla. — State Senator Linda Stewart announced Friday that she has begun crafting a bill to address the increase in human trafficking across Florida.


Stewart said the bill would promote awareness, expand training for law enforcement, and create a database to collect anonymous tips about suspected human trafficking incidents.

Read: Police: Daytona man charged with human trafficking and drug possession

Central Florida, with its large tourism population and many hotels, has long been favored by criminals in the human trafficking trade.

Read: Human trafficking: 9 warning signs to look out for

Stewart said the bill would also build off language in the Tenant Safety bill passed last legislative session.

The law, also known as Miya’s law, prohibited hourly rentals at certain lodging establishments.

Stewart said she hopes the new legislation, with bipartisan support, will help end trafficking across Florida.

VIDEO: Traffic stop leads to arrest of human trafficking

According to the U.S. Department of State, there are an estimated 24.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide at any given time.

To report an occurrence or suspicion of human trafficking, contact local law enforcement and the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1(888) 373-7888.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.