Okla. Gov. signs 2 human trafficking victim bills

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Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 20 at 7:09 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed two bills aimed at protecting victims of human trafficking from criminal charges.

The first bill shields all minors from prostitution charges by creating the legal assumption that they were coerced into the work. The second allows sex trafficking victims to ask courts to clear prior prostitution convictions. The two bills are among 13 bills the governor signed Thursday.

The proposals sailed through both chambers of the Legislature and have wide support among trafficking victim advocates, who say trafficking laws have become increasingly focused on protecting victims in recent years.

The U.S. State Department says there are 27 million human trafficking victims worldwide.

Other bills signed include a mandate for blood oxygen screening for newborns and a bill restricting state courts' use of foreign laws.

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