Massachusetts likes to think of itself as a progressive state, but it was only last year that it was among the worst in the nation in terms of cracking down on human trafficking.
But today, thanks to the efforts of lawmakers and Attorney General Martha Coakley's office, the Bay State has gone far in tackling one of the most sinister crimes in the commonwealth.
The Polaris Project, a national group that fights slavery, this year elevated Massachusetts from the group of 11 states doing the worst jobs at combating human trafficking to the tier of states with the best frameworks in place against it.
In fact, more than half the states in the nation stepped up their fight against human trafficking in the past year. The Polaris Project reports that 28 states passed new law against the trade since August 2011.
On Feb. 19, the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Law went into effect. As part it, a Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force was created. About a month later, police and other law enforcement officers busted a horrifying human trafficking ring in Boston.
The new law, Coakley said, is a recognition that : "The recent passage of a human trafficking law in Massachusetts recognizes that these crimes are happening in our own communities, and gives us the tools to combat those crimes and offer critical services to victims."