The Maine Legislature is considering a bill that would make forced labor a crime.
The measure drew broad support and no opposition Wednesday at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
Sen. Amy Volk, a Republican from Scarborough who sponsored the proposal, said forced labor should be a crime - "to compel someone to work for little or no compensation," she said. "Victims are usually those with little power or means,including migrant workers, immigrants or refugees, those living in extreme poverty and drug addicts.”
Maine already has criminal laws against slavery and kidnaping, but the state’s criminal law advisory commission agreed that it would help prosecutors to have a specific provision dealing with forced labor.
Volk 2 “Maine’s statues are missing a forced labor provision. The current kidnapping and criminal restraint language in the statues have not been used that we know of for its intended purpose, but this bill will remedy that.”
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