Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

NY state shifts judicial approach to prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

New York is creating the nation’s first statewide system of courts to help prostitutes escape a life of exploitation and violence and move on to productive lives, the state’s chief judge said.

“We have come to recognize that the vast majority of children and adults charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation,” Judge Jonathan Lippman told attorneys, advocates for women and service providers at a breakfast meeting Wednesday in Manhattan.

“Human trafficking is a crime that inflicts terrible harm on the most vulnerable members of society: victims of abuse, the poor, children, runaways, immigrants,” said Lippman, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. “It is in every sense a form of modern-day slavery. We cannot tolerate this practice in a civilized society, nor can we afford to let victims of trafficking slip between the cracks of our justice system.”

While human trafficking includes labor trafficking, nearly 80 percent of victims in New York are trafficked for sex, Lippman said.

Most are U.S. citizens, Lippman said.

“It is not just halfway across the globe. It is around the corner from all of us,” he said.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

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US Lawmakers Introduce Child Sex-Trafficking Bill

In Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm

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U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill to strengthen federal laws against child sex trafficking, a proposal that has broad bipartisan support and will be considered after members of Congress return from an August recess.

Earlier this week, the FBI announced the rescue of more than 100 sexually exploited children as a result of a nationwide sweep of sex traffickers. The FBI said the operation yielded 150 arrests, primarily of pimps — those who profit from the illegal enterprise.

Members of Congress say arresting and prosecuting pimps is not enough, that those who pay to have sex with children must also face federal penalties.

“We have a Trafficking Victims Protection Act that prosecutes the trafficker — the guy that brings those girls throughout the United States. But the consumer, the buyer, is not prosecuted on the federal level,” said Republican Congressman Ted Poe during a news conference at the Capitol.

The End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013 mandates that those who seek sex with children will be prosecuted under federal law, which comes into play when there is trafficking activity across more than one state.

VOA

Cuomo Woman’s Equality Act plan includes human trafficking agenda

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to crack down on human trafficking, submitted to the state Legislature as part of his Women’s Equality Act, comes as New York lags behind other states in attacking the problem.

Experts say thousands of people are trafficked every year in New York — as sex slaves or forced farm workers. Yet relatively few arrests are made, largely because of legal obstacles and the victims’ fear of coming forward.

“In New York, as far as human trafficking is concerned, we’re where the domestic violence movement was 25 to 30 years ago,” said Emily Amick, a lawyer with Sanctuary for New York Families, an advocacy group.

Cuomo’s proposed legislation would toughen penalties, making trafficking a Class B felony — a violent crime with a minimum sentence of 5 years. Offenders now face as little as a year in jail.

“Governor Cuomo’s legislation recognizes the incredible violence of human trafficking,” Amick said.

Under the measure, sex slaves arrested in connection with prostitution could cite trafficking as a defense — a move advocates believe could lead to more investigations of human slavery rings. Prosecutors would also no longer have to prove juveniles were coerced or tricked into slavery.

Source: Newsday

Stop Prosecuting Victims of Human Trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

Target: New York lawmakers

Goal: Protect minors who are victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted

New York lawmakers are voting on a bill that would include raising the age of prosecution for someone who was coerced into prostitution to 18. This would be a large step in ensuring that the rights of minors involved in prostitution are given the respect, resources, and help that they need rather than being punished.

While the age of consent for sexual activities is 18, it doesn’t make sense to prosecute minors for prostitution. If minors are not considered mature enough to consent to sex, they should be regarded as victims in cases of prostitution. Stella Marr, a former victim of trafficking described the necessity of help rather than prosecution in the case of minors involved in trafficking. She explains that, “Traffickers are violent, they threaten you, they threaten your family. I was manipulated, threatened, and I felt I had no other choice.”

If the bill passes, New York will become only the fifth state to protect minors against being prosecuted for prostitution. The incredibly small number of states that provide protection for minors who are victims of trafficking indicates the necessity of this bill and others like it being passed. The hopelessness that comes with being trapped in a situation like many of these minors are in can be significantly helped if they know that they have law officials protecting them rather than prosecuting them as criminals.

Source: Force Change

Giving back choice: why New York’s sex trafficking law needs to change

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 20, 2013 at 9:08 am

Three months ago, Ruth came into my life. Sixteen years and two weeks old, Ruth is spunky and smart. She loves Hello Kitty and iced coffee, listens to Alicia Keys and spent days planning her Sweet 16 outfit. Ruth wants to build schools in Africa. Her contagious smile lights up a room. But, for years, the smile I have come to love was hidden.

Ruth is a sexually exploited child. At 12, after being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, she met an older man who promised to love and care for her. Instead, he brutally beat her, repeatedly raped her and sold her for sex more times than she could count.

There is a common misconception that girls like Ruth choose to enter prostitution. This could not be further from the truth. Sex traffickers like Ruth’s “ex-boyfriend” prey on the vulnerable for financial gain. They provide girls and women with the “love” they are yearning for and through coercion and manipulation force them to make them money through prostitution.

Source: New Statesmen

Brianna, a victim of human trafficking, speaks at Women’s Equality event

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Brianna, a human trafficking victim, shares her story at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s event Tuesday, June 4. Cuomo unveiled his Women’s Equality Act, which includes tougher human trafficking laws. (Video provided by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.)

 

Human-trafficking bill would make minors immune from prostitution charges

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

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Lawmakers made a last-minute tweak to a human trafficking bill Monday after concerns were raised that it would give immunity from prosecution to anyone younger than 18 arrested for prostitution.

The bill (LB255) by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill would, among other things, add human trafficking of a minor to the definition of child abuse and toughen penalties for solicitation, pandering, debauching a minor and running a house of prostitution. It also would require law enforcement to collect and maintain information about human trafficking perpetrators and victims.

But one section of the bill says if “a person suspected of or charged with a violation of Subsection One of this section is a person under eighteen years of age, such person shall be immune from prosecution for a prostitution.”

Source: Journal Star

Elizabeth Hovde: Shouldn’t buying sex with children be a felony?

In Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

If Oregon’s full legislative body gets to vote onHouse Bill 2019, it has the chance to treat this crime more seriously and deter buyers from committing their crime here. Make it happen, legislative leaders.

The law makes buying sex with a minor a felony (ya think?), and if a person is convicted, he or she lands on the sex offender registry. Being an accomplice in destroying a child’s life wouldn’t be such an anonymous action. HB2019 has gotten the necessary nods needed to meet approval in the House. Now, legislators can’t let it get watered down like Senate Bill 673 has been. The two bills started out identical and were carried well by the lawmakers who sponsored them, I’m told, but the Senate version was tweaked in the Judiciary Committee to make the crime of buying sex with a kid a misdemeanor on the first offense. The reason for that has not been adequately explained. Advocates believe that it was thought that the bill was simply too tough.

Hogwash.

Source: Oregon Live

In bid to combat prostitution, human trafficking, lawmakers vote to limit massage hours

In Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Legitimate massage therapists are tired of them and law enforcement officials see them as potential venues for human trafficking.

Now, the Florida Legislature is also flexing its muscle in the fight against the growth of adult-oriented massage establishments, places whose marketing and signage skews closer to adult entertainment than therapeutic well-being.

In South Florida, they’re known for their blacked-out windows, neon signs, late-night hours, and sexually suggestive postings in online classified ads. Many are listed on web sites that cater to the men who seek out erotic massages.

Observers worry that in some of these businesses, victims are being forced to perform sexual acts against their will.

That rationale, based on numerous cases of sexual exploitation in brothels posing as massage establishments across the U.S., is now official in Tallahassee. In the recent session, lawmakers unanimously passed massage-specific legislation viewed by stakeholders as an important step — even if some say the legislation doesn’t go far enough.

Source: Sun-Sentinel

Rwanda: Step-Up Fight Against Human Trafficking, Rwandan Tells UN Summit

In Awareness, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

A Rwandan diplomat at the Rwandan mission at the UN has asked the world body to devise urgent measures to curtail human trafficking as the crime is on the increase.

Jeanne d’Arc Byaje, Rwanda’s deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, on Tuesday, told the General Assembly meeting on the Appraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons that the stakes in human trafficking are too high to be ignored any further.

“Since 2009, 130 cases of human trafficking have been recorded in Rwanda. These include cases of victims who have been recovered or intercepted and others that are still in the hands of criminals,” Byaje said.

She said the crime is exacerbated by poverty, unemployment, inequality, social exclusion, marginalisation and racism.

Source: allAfrica

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