Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, other members of the Assembly, and a large group of advocacy groups led by the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition have announced support for A.1898-b, The Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2006. The bill would create criminal penalties relating to the crime of human trafficking and would assist victims of human trafficking. Human Trafficking is a lucrative, clandestine business that exploits its victims in unimaginable ways.
“Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and should not be tolerated. We must enact the strongest possible law in New York to combat human trafficking,” said Dinowitz. “I’m pleased that such a large and diverse group of legislators and advocates are supporting 1898b. Its enactment into law will make a difference in the lives of countless victims of human trafficking.”
The existing laws on trafficking-like crimes are codified in disparate parts of the New York State criminal code, which make it difficult for prosecutors to properly charge criminals. This bill would strengthen the laws on human trafficking by unifying and bundling the definitions and concepts of anti-trafficking laws into a Human Trafficking chapter, which would make it more likely such crimes are recognized and charged. Additionally, this bill would also provide needed assistance and protection to victims. It would help trafficking victims access the federal benefits and services that they are entitled to, in addition to providing them with additional state benefits and services.
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, “Human trafficking is a hideous, clandestine crime that profits from the exploitation of the most vulnerable among us. We, all of us, have an obligation to help these young women regain their self-esteem and their trust in our democratic society – a society that should provide protection for its youth and guarantee them the same opportunities we would want for our own children.”
Jane Manning, Program Officer for Equality Now, stated, “Assemblyman Dinowitz’ bill would revolutionize our ability to help trafficked persons in New York State by treating them as victims rather than criminals and by cracking down on the sellers and buyers who exploit them.”
Sister Jeanne Shary, OP, stated, “As women religious, we have fought to combat this terrible crime of human trafficking around the world. We are here in Albany representing 22 religious orders to support the passage of Assemblyman Dinowitz’ legislation, The Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2006. This Act is needed in New York, as New York is a point of entry for trafficking and the problem is getting worse. Legislation to effectively combat human trafficking needs strong penalties and definitions of the crimes to ensure the prosecution of traffickers. We believe this Act achieves this and we urge the State Legislature to enact this into law”
Assemblyman Dinowitz was joined by several other groups and individuals including a survivor of sex trafficking in New York State, as well as Assemblywoman Paulin and other Assemblymembers. Also in attendance will be Anti-Trafficking advocates including Equality Now, Sanctuary for Families, and inMotion, and representatives of religious organizations including the Sisters of Charity. Over 80 members of the Assembly are currently sponsors of this legislation.