Joplin police have issued a release apprising the public of a new law that takes effect Friday in Missouri requiring certain businesses to display a state poster aimed at combating human trafficking.
Legislation approved in Missouri in 2018 makes it a violation for various businesses not to display a poster developed by the Missouri Department of Public Safety that urges residents to "Stop Human Trafficking" by reporting the crime to a state hotline. The poster is free and available for downloading at https://dps.mo.gov/human-trafficking/pdf/stop-human-trafficking-poster.pdf.
The Joplin Police Department news release on the matter states that the poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place in or near the restrooms or near the entrances of each of the following types of establishments:
• Hotels, motels or other establishments that have been cited as a public nuisance for prostitution under section 567.080 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.
• Strip clubs or other sexually oriented businesses.
• Private clubs that have a liquor permit for on-premises consumption, do not hold themselves out to be a food-service establishment, and are not affiliated with any nonprofit fraternal, athletic, religious or veterans organizations.
• Train stations that serve passengers.
• Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals.
• Urgent care clinics.
• Privately operated job recruitment centers.
• Businesses that offer massage or body work services for compensation by individuals not licensed under section 324.365 of state law.
• Women's health centers.
• Abortion facilities as defined in section 188.015.
• Family planning clinics.
• Maternity homes as defined in section 135.600.
• Pregnancy resource centers as defined in section 135.630.
• Bus stations.
• Truck stops (privately owned and operated stops that provide food, fuel, shower or other sanitary facilities and overnight parking).
• Roadside rest areas.
Owners and operators of establishments required to display the poster and fail to comply will be subject to a written warning for a first violation and "may be guilty of an infraction for any subsequent violation," according to the new law.
The Joplin Police Department release states that the city is currently engaged in an education phase to ensure compliance with the new law. Police will begin conducting compliance checks at a later date and time, according to the news release.