Bills take aim at human trafficking in North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Regulating massage parlors, stiffening the punishment for human trafficking and spreading awareness are just some of the ways North Carolina is looking to crack down on the forced sex trade.

Data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline shows North Carolina ranked among the top ten states for the number of human trafficking cases reported.

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Last week, the House approved a measure to require that massage and bodywork therapy establishments to be licensed. Sponsors say the businesses are sometimes used as a front for illegal sexual activities.

A similar Senate bill would make it a higher level felony for violating human trafficking laws.

There’s also funding in the state budget for more than 21,000 human trafficking awareness signs to be displayed at adult establishments, hospitals, rest stops and other places.

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