“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name- modern slavery.”
- President Barack Obama
In 2013 I was proud to sponsor New Jersey’s landmark Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act, expanding resources and protections for survivors and strengthening our State’s legal ability to prosecute traffickers.
I believe that this law was a major step forward in New Jersey’s ability to fight human trafficking; it was also a major step forward in how our State responds to and treats survivors.
It is now 2020 and there is far more work left to be done. That’s why I was proud to join Liz Corsini of the Bergen Family Center, Lauren Hersh of World Without Exploitation and author Rebecca Bender to discuss sex trafficking in New Jersey.
Together, we are working to develop public policy initiatives to disrupt the human trafficking industry in New Jersey and improve public awareness about modern-day slavery. It is for this reason that I am currently collaborating with experts and advocates to draft legislation utilizing the “Equality Model,” a policy model aimed at assisting individuals escape the sex trade. This legislation will help us to improve resources and exit strategies, moving us away from the penalties that so often implicate victims but not their perpetrators.
With at least 224 confirmed cases of human trafficking in New Jersey just in the past year, it is clear that we must do more to end this practice and hold traffickers accountable.
Liz Corsini, Rebecca Bender, Lauren Hersh and I at a recent panel discussion “Sex Trafficking in our Backyard” at the Bergen Family Center in Englewood.
Public awareness in action at Bergen Family Center. We need to improve education around human trafficking to ensure that everyone can identify the signs.
As January comes to a close, let us continue in the mission and purpose of National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is available for comprehensive service referrals for victims and survivors of human trafficking, tip reporting and resources for advocates. The National Human Trafficking Hotline serves the United States and the U.S. territories. The hotline is confidential, available 24/7 and in 200+ languages.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline
Text: “BeFree” (233733)
Live Chat: humantraffickinghotline.org