New Jersey’s state Assembly today unanimously granted final legislative approval to a measure that would crack down on human trafficking, better support its victims and educate the public — particularly johns. The measure now heads to Gov. Christie’s desk.
The Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act addresses a crime estimated to claim up to 20 million victims worldwide.
“There are two important messages contained in this bill. To victims: You’re not alone. To perpetrators: We’re coming after you,” said one of the measure’s primary sponsors, state Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
In drafting the legislation, which was also approved by the full Senate, the Bergen County lawmaker spent the better part of last year gathering information at meetings with experts and advocates, including the NJ Coalition against Human Trafficking, an alliance comprised of the Junior League, the NJ Catholic Conference, The League of Women Voters and the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, among other organizations.
“Victims are often children and vulnerable women who are too afraid and dependent on traffickers to break their silence and seek help,” she said. “Many times they are exploited for years and coerced into prostitution, labor, and drug activity.
“When they finally have a chance to regain their freedom, they are prosecuted for the crimes they were forced to commit while enslaved,” Vainieri Huttle said, “while the real perpetrators remain untouched by the law.
“With this bill, we hope to change all that.”
Its objective is to revise and expand New Jersey’s current laws to: CLICK HERE ....