Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Provide Support and Resources to Protect Victims of Human Trafficking
Governor Kathy Hochul signed eight pieces of legislation to provide support and resources for victims of human trafficking. These new laws will ensure locations such as airports, bus terminals, hotels and truck stops prominently feature information on human trafficking. This will inform employees and visitors of crucial information about the horrible practice of human trafficking, as well as provide discreet ways for victims to learn their rights and available resources.
“We must do everything in our power to end the scourge of human trafficking and protect thousands of individuals who fall victim to this abhorrent practice in New York,” Governor Hochul said. “New Yorkers should know the signs of human trafficking and be ready to lend a hand to stand up for victims. I’m proud to sign this legislative package, which includes campaigns that will spread awareness and help make a meaningful difference in thousands of lives.”
Human Trafficking Recognition Training
- Legislation (S.7360/A.9821) will require all New York State Liquor Authority-certified Alcohol Training Awareness Programs to include a human trafficking training component. This will increase the awareness and understanding of the signs of human trafficking to allow warning signs and victims to be identified in order to respond when needed.
State Senator James Skoufis said, “Lawmakers shouldn’t stand by while New York consistently ranks fourth in the nation for prevalence of human trafficking. Our legislation to empower bartenders to spot and stop this inhumane exploitation will protect countless victims of trafficking. I thank the Governor for signing this bill as well as the other protective measures in the package.”
Assembly member Kimberly Jean-Pierre said, “Ensuring that Bar and restaurant staff are properly trained in assisting victims of human trafficking is extremely important. Human trafficking is a social and community tragedy that endangers public health and fuels violence and crime. This bill will help bring awareness to the issue, help these staff members better understand the signs, and teach them the proper reporting procedures. I am thrilled to see this bill signed into law by Governor Hochul and look forward to continuing the fight against human trafficking.”
- This legislation (S.244B/A.887C) establishes a requirement for every inn, hotel, motel, motor court to include training in the recognition of human trafficking victims for each employee who is likely to meet with guests. This training will be provided to each employee within the first 60 days of employment. The Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will provide or approve the training curriculum.
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “Human trafficking victims, including children, are amoung us in urban, suburban, and rural communities across New York State. Hotel and motel workers can play a critical role in spotting and stopping it if they have the proper training, which is why I was proud to sponsor S.244B. Thank you to Assembly member Amy Paulin for her partnership in this effort and to Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this important measure into law.”
Assembly member Amy Paulin said, “Every day, women and girls are forced by sex traffickers to sell themselves to men with expendable income. I’m proud to have authored legislation to combat the illegal sex trafficking industry which requires the publicity of critical support services for victims in main transportation hubs, as well as training for hotel workers so that they can spot and report trafficking. Sex trafficking is often conducted in plain sight but is not identified, and depends on lodging and transportation to operate. By reaching victims at these intersections where they can be identified and connected to services, we can offer them a lifeline to safety and freedom. I applaud Governor Hochul for signing these bills into law and for her commitment to ending sex trafficking.”
Human Trafficking Services Awareness
- Legislation (S.8711A/A.9883A) will require the all Thruway Authority restrooms to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number. This will allow service areas to have greater visibility of the resources available to victims to help them escape their situations. Motor vehicles are used in over 80% of trafficking operations, many of which may stop at the 27 service areas operated by the New York State Thruway.
State Senator Cordell Cleare said, “As Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Women’s Issues, the eradication of Human Trafficking has been my foremost priority. I commend the Governor for signing my bill, S.8711-A, which requires proactive information to be displayed at all Thruway Authority Service Areas. This year, I introduced 14 bills on Human Trafficking, 5 of which passed the Senate; I will continue to press forward on this issue until this despicable practice is wiped from the earth and our communities begin healing.”
- Legislation (S.8678/A.9814) requires all truck stops to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number, in their restrooms. This will provide victims more awareness of the resources available to help them escape their situations.
State Senator Samra G. Brouk said, “Human traffickers use our transportation infrastructure to commit unconscionable crimes in broad daylight and as the summer months increase travel statewide, it is critical to use every opportunity we have to intervene and begin to repair lives. I thank the Governor and Assembly member Paulin for their collaboration on this legislation to provide lifesaving information for trafficking victims at truck stops and airports—making New York a safer place for our families, especially for women and children.”
- Legislation (S.8710/A.9406) requires all commercial service and general aviation airports to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number. Airlines are a common hub for human trafficking both nationally and internationally. By providing the necessary information in a visible place, potential victims of human trafficking will know of the resources available to help them escape their situations.
- Legislation (S.8262/A.9169) will require all Port Authority airport restrooms to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number. Airlines are a common hub for human trafficking both nationally and internationally. By providing the necessary information in a visible place, potential victims of human trafficking will know of the resources available to help them escape their situations.
State Senator Anna Kaplan said, “No community is immune to the scourge of human trafficking, and it’s critical that we do everything we can to give victims the opportunity to escape their captors and survive the trauma they’ve been forced to endure. Prominently displaying the national human trafficking hotline in places where victims will see it is a common-sense way to help a person in need, and it will help raise awareness of the problem among members of the public who might be able to step in and help. I’m proud to partner with Assembly member Amy Paulin on legislation that will require the posting of victims’ resources in airports and bus terminals, and I’m grateful for Governor Hochul’s leadership in signing the bills into law.”
- Legislation (S.8573/A.9410) will require all Port Authority bus terminal restrooms to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number. Due to the anonymity and convenience of bus terminals, they are known hubs used to traffic victims. By prominently displaying information on various services for human trafficking victims as well as the national human trafficking hotline number, more victims will be aware of resources that can be utilized to escape their captors.
- Legislation (S.3374B/A.7818B) will require establishments selling alcoholic beverages or adult entertainment to display notices of the offenses of human trafficking and to clearly display the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline as well as the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint lines for assistance. Many entertainment clubs and bars are sites of human trafficking and forced labor, and raising awareness of these hotlines will increase awareness of the crime and its warning signs, as well as provide awareness of the resources to help those who may have fallen victim to this crime.
State Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “Human trafficking is a growing and pervasive problem that impacts all our communities. This package of legislation works to combat the scourge of human trafficking, promote resources for victims, and advance preventative measures to protect against and break the cycle of exploitation. My bill would mandate that any establishment with a liquor license and all adult entertainment venues prominently displays signage with contact information related to the human trafficking hotline. Victims of trafficking face extraordinary hurdles to seeking help. Mandating visible signage in these establishments where victims are at heightened risk will help them access potentially lifesaving assistance. I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this important legislation into law, Assembly Sponsor Catalina Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl E. Heastie, and my colleagues in both houses for taking action to keep our communities safe.”
Assembly member Catalina Cruz said, “Human trafficking, or modern day slavery, is a scourge on our society that must be combated on many fronts. My legislation targets public awareness by mandating information on services to help victims is more visible and accessible. More work is needed to end the horrors of modern day slavery and I will continue my efforts to combat it. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for supporting this legislation and Senator Jamaal Bailey for his leadership on this issue.”