Even though federal laws provide protections for victims of human trafficking, Massachusetts lacked state laws and state statutes which would provide shelter to these people. Instead, Massachusetts state laws treated human trafficking victims as prostitutes and criminals.
For several years, pending legislation on anti-human trafficking bills sat in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It was not until June 2011 when the House approved an anti-human trafficking bill. The Boston Herald wrote an article about the bill which is available here.
Finally, in November 2011, Massachusetts lawmakers approved a bill that would implement harsher punishments on individuals guilty of trafficking children for forced labor. The Boston Globe wrote an article about the bill passage which you can read here.
However, Suffolk University Law School and the Boston Initiative to Advance Human Rights (BITAHR) will host a forum and panel discussion that explores sex trafficking as a human rights violation on February 3, 2012 to February 5, 2012. The event will be at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University. To see the full schedule and buy tickets, read more here. To read descriptions of the particular films, go here.