Legislative Options to Fight Human Trafficking
It’s been a busy year so far, and we are happy to start launching our blog updates.
You ask, How can I get involved?
One of many ways is to contact your representatives and ask them to support efforts to end human trafficking.
Contact your council members, mayors, state and national congressional representatives. Tell them about human trafficking, see what they know and what they are doing, and encourage them to take steps to respond to human trafficking in their area of influence.
We in Fresno are blessed to have an active partnership with one of our councilmen, whose district happens to include several major tracks of commercial sexual exploitation/ sex trafficking. He has been invited and has sent his assistant to several of our events and he is learning much.
In California, we have at least seven bills in the legislature related to efforts to end human trafficking. Read up on the bills. Contact your representative and share your passion to end human trafficking and ask them for their support concerning the bills you support.
A summary of the current proposed bills:
AB 12: Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011. It would require that
a person who is convicted of a crime involving substantial sexual
conduct, as defined, with a victim who is under 16 years of age, or
who seeks to procure or procures the sexual services of a prostitute,
if the prostitute is a minor who is under 16 years of age, be
ordered to pay an additional fine of $25,000 to be deposited in the
Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to be available for appropriation in
the same manner as specified above. The current fine is $5,000.
AB 90: This bill would also expand the scope of the offense of human
trafficking to provide that any person who causes, induces,
encourages, or persuades a person under 18 years of age to engage in
a commercial sex act, as defined, with the intent to effect or
maintain specified felonies is guilty of human trafficking.
California Against Slavery is trying to get an initiative on the 2012 ballot.
AB918: This bill amends a 2000 law to punish gang related activity to add pimping, pandering, and human trafficking as offenses that may be used to establish a pattern of criminal gang activity punishable by law.
SB 557: proposes development and authorization for a city, county, or city and county to establish a multi-agency, multidisciplinary family justice center to assist victims of domestic violence, officer-involved domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking,
cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and human trafficking, to ensure
that victims of abuse are able to access all needed services in one
location and to enhance victim safety, increase offender
accountability, and improve access to services for victims of crime,
as provided. The bill would permit the family justice centers to be
staffed by law enforcement, medical, social service, and child
welfare personnel, among others.
AB 764: This bill would allow an individual taxpayer to designate on the
tax return, that a specified amount in excess of the tax liability be
transferred to the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund and that all moneys contributed to the fund be allocated for community-based
organizations that serve minor victims of human trafficking.
SB 123: California Runaway, Homeless, and
Exploited Youth Act would require, subject to the availability of adequate resources, the California Emergency Management Agency to develop , in collaboration with the Senate Office of Research and various interested parties, a statewide plan for runaway, homeless, and exploited youth, as specified.
AB 1188: Amends the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act to include, within the definition of a violent felony, crimes related to the willful harm or injury to a child, assault resulting in death of a child under 8 years of age, and cruel or inhuman corporal punishment of a child, as specified. The bill would include, within the definition of serious felony, the crimes
noted above as well as human trafficking and luring or transporting a
minor away from the minor’s home without consent.