Attorney General Tim Fox said on Monday that Montana is one of the top states in the country for its efforts to prevent child sex trafficking.

“The Montana Department of Justice is pleased Shared Hope International has again taken note of our ongoing legislative advocacy and outreach efforts to fight modern-day slavery,” said Fox. “I have made it a priority ever since I took office to bring perpetrators to justice while taking a victim-centered approach to helping young people whose lives have been shattered by these heinous crimes. I’m proud Montana’s laws have the necessary definitions and penalties to prosecute traffickers and help their victims recover.”

Fox said before he took office in 2011 the state had received an ‘F’ grade in child sex trafficking prevention.

“As soon as I became Attorney general, we started to ramp up efforts to not only change our laws but to educate the public, law enforcement and others on how we can combat human trafficking,” he said. “One of our first bills in the 2013 Legislature established a poster that was put up in all the state-owned public places, including rest stops. We expanded that using private and public partnerships to get placards and posters into hotels and convenience stores and truck stops.”

Fox was particularly proud of a bill his office sponsored in the 2015 legislative session.

“This was to totally revamp Montana’s laws and to make sure that Montana has a really good human trafficking law,” he said. “We continue to work very hard. We put on training sessions for law enforcement and prosecutors. I personally have spoken in more than a dozen places in the last three years helping to educate citizens about the issue.”

Attorney General Fox thanked Truckers Against Trafficking, Street Grace, the Montana Broadcasters Association, Watkins Shepard Trucking, the Montana Motor Carriers Association, the Town Pump Foundation, Freedom 58 Project, and Soroptimists International of Helena and Whitefish for their assistance in public outreach on human trafficking awareness over the years.