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On Missing Children’s Day, Murray Pledges Trafficking Bill Passage

By Colleen Quinn

State House News Service

Cambridge- Senate President Therese Murray promised advocates of missing children Monday that lawmakers would pass legislation targeting human trafficking.Cambridge —

The Plymouth Democrat made her commitment as Magi and John Bish, whose daughter Molly went missing in 2000, gathered with a group of parents at the State House to mark something no parent ever wants to make note of – their missing children.

The Bishes returned to the state capitol Monday for the 11th annual Massachusetts Missing Children’s Day. They come every year to bring attention to abductions and to missing children never found. Currently, 38 children are missing in the state, according to the Molly Bish Foundation.

Attorney General Martha Coakley thanked the Bishes for reminding law enforcement about “all the people who are touched by a missing child.” Coakley is pushing for Massachusetts to pass legislation that would establish state crimes of human trafficking in labor and sex. She wants to create a task force to study human trafficking, and increase the penalties for “Johns” to target the demand side of trafficking in prostitution. Massachusetts is one of four states in the nation that does not have human trafficking laws.

“We have this problem right in our own backyard,” Coakley said.

The Bish Foundation presented Murray with a legislative award and Murray said it was important to hold the event annually as a reminder of all the missing children.

“The devastation, I can’t imagine losing your child, and not knowing what happened or where, and that they won’t come back.… Read the rest