Rockland County Legislature Supports Assemblyman Dinowitz’s Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

January 24, 2006
The Legislature of Rockland County recently passed a resolution calling for the Assembly to pass legislation introduced by Assemblyman Dinowitz that addresses the issue of human trafficking.

The resolution recognizes the tragedy of human trafficking and the current lack of anti-trafficking laws. It applauds the Assemblyman’s bill for strengthening the laws on human trafficking by unifying the definitions and concepts of current trafficking laws into a specific human trafficking chapter.

The trafficking and forced servitude of innocent people is a heinous crime that exploits its victims in unimaginable ways. It is a growing problem because current laws make it difficult for law enforcement to identify and prosecute those responsible. The proposed legislation will be a major deterrent to those involved in human trafficking. The Rockland County resolution states, “This bill will make it more likely that such crimes are recognized and charged…. It protects minors by creating tough penalties and also provides needed assistance and protection to victims.”

Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz was pleased to see Rockland County acknowledge the need to end human trafficking. “By working together the state and county governments can ensure that this tragedy comes to an end. We have worked very hard with agencies and non-for-profit groups who provided support for human trafficking victims to develop this legislation. The bill goes to great length to prosecute this heinous crime and to ensure that its victims are treated with dignity and respect,” stated Dinowitz.

The Rockland County Resolution follows:

RESOLUTION NO. 8142 OF 2006

REQUESTING THAT NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY PASS ASSEMBLY BILL A. 1898-A, THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE PASS SENATE BILL S. 6231, AND THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK SIGN BOTH BILLS – AN ACT TO AMEND THE PENAL LAW, THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW, IN RELATION TO CRIMINALIZING THE TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS FOR LABOR SERVITUDE AND SEXUAL SERVITUDE

WHEREAS, Legislature of Rockland County wishes to express its support for Assembly Bill A.1898-A and Senate Bill S.6231 – An act to amend the penal law, the civil practice law and rules, and the criminal procedure law, in relation to criminalizing the trafficking of persons for labor servitude and sexual servitude; and
WHEREAS, Human Trafficking is a hideous crime that exploits its victims in unimaginable ways and it is a major problem. It is a lucrative business that is clandestine, making it difficult to stop; and
WHEREAS, the existing laws on trafficking-like crimes are codified in disparate parts of the New York State criminal code. These crimes including kidnapping, prostitution and other coercive tactics that traffickers use to obtain and maintain the labor and services of their victims are found in different and seemingly unrelated parts of the state code. This makes it difficult for prosecutors to properly charge criminals; and
WHEREAS, this bill strengthens the laws on human trafficking. It unifies the definitions and concepts of anti-trafficking laws; it bundles these appropriate statutes into a trafficking chapter. As a result, this bill will make it more likely that such crimes are recognized and charged; and
WHEREAS, with a properly organized criminal code, proper sentencing for specific crimes can be appropriately penalized; and
WHEREAS, this bill protects minors by creating tough penalties and also provides needed assistance and protection to victims; and
WHEREAS, the Rockland County Legislature wishes to applaud the efforts of New York’s state representatives to address this serious and proliferating issue; and
WHEREAS, the Multi Services Committee has met, considered and by a unanimous vote, approved this resolution; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Legislature of Rockland County hereby requests that the New York State Assembly pass Assembly Bill A.1898-A, the New York State Senate introduce and pass Senate Bill S.6231, and the Governor of the State of New York sign both bills – An act to amend the penal law, the civil practice law and rules, and the criminal procedure law, in relation to criminalizing the trafficking of persons for labor servitude and sexual servitude; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Clerk to the Legislature be and is hereby authorized and directed to send a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor of the State of New York; Hon. Thomas P. Morahan, New York State Senator, Hon. Ryan S. Karben, Hon. Kenneth P. Zebrowski, Hon. Nancy Calhoun, and Hon. Annie Rabbitt, III, Members of the New York State Assembly; the President Pro Tem of the New York State Senate; the Speaker of the New York State Assembly; the Majority and Minority Leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly; and to such other persons as the Clerk in his discretion, may deem proper in order to effectuate the purpose of this resolution