Shared Hope International has ranked Tennessee number one in the country for fighting human trafficking, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday.
The 2017 report card gave Tennessee a 96.5 rating.
The report named one flaw the state has: "Tennessee imposes substantial penalties for sex trafficking and provides tools for law enforcement to investigate effectively, but victims may be deterred from pursuing justice due to lack of trial protections and potential bars to victims’ compensation."
“The progress we’ve made in Tennessee over the past five or so years is significant and proves the value of partnership,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said.
Tennessee’s sex trafficking law, “trafficking a person for a commercial sex act”, does not require proof of force, fraud, or coercion and enhances penalties when the minor is under 15 or the offense occurs near a school, library, or park, according to the report released Wednesday.
“Let me promise you one thing, we may celebrate today, but we won’t rest," Gwyn said.
Gwyn said his office will keep working until that score is 100.
"We’re proud of what we’ve done, but there is more to do," Gwyn said.