A task force on human trafficking will debate whether Colorado should deem mail-order brides as sex slaves and will set up a training program to teach police the difference between prostitutes and sex slaves, reports the Denver Post. Mail-order brides are often targets of violence and abuse, said state Rep. Alice Borodkin, who formed the Interagency Task Force on Trafficking this year. Women forced into prostitution should be considered victims, not criminals, she said at the first task-force meeting this week.
Borodkin formed the task force after three spas in her district staffed with foreign sex slaves were broken up. FBI agent Nick Vanicelli told state lawmakers that an initial investigation found that an interstate ring smuggling children for prostitution could be operating in Colorado. Several members of the new group said they knew slavery existed in Eastern Europe and impoverished countries but hadn’t known it existed in Colorado. “I was just shocked,” Kenlyn Kolleen of the group Free a Child said about learning that Denver youths plied with drugs had been coerced into prostitution.