Senator Dale M. Volker Passes Human Trafficking Bill

William T. Stachowski

June 07, 2006

(ALBANY, NY) State Senator Dale M. Volker (R-I-C, Depew) today announced The New York State Senate passed comprehensive legislation (S.3914-B), to combat human trafficking, including establishing criminal penalties for labor and sexual servitude and promoting sex tourism that will protect minors from these outrageous acts.

"This is one of those disturbing situations were you just shake your head and can’t believe that this type of business is taking place in our state," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "This past February we had a public hearing on this issue. It was crystal clear from those who testified that there was a need to stiffen and clarify our state’s crime statutes in order for prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to have the legal resources and tools to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who take part in this illegal and barbaric enterprise."

Due to its lucrative and clandestine nature, labor and sexual servitude have become more prevalent in today’s society. New immigrants, women and children are forced into prostitution and slave labor by human traffickers with the promise of freedom and a new life.

The new legislation creates harsher penalties for human trafficking, organizing new and existing laws into one specific "trafficking" chapter in New York State’s Penal Law. It also addresses forms of coercive tactics, including kidnapping and prostitution, used by traffickers, and provides the tools necessary for prosecutors and judges to put an end to indentured servitude. Additionally, this legislation aids victims by requiring police agencies to work with federal authorities to assist victims so that they receive restitution while pursuing avenues to obtain legal citizenship.

In a high profile case in April 2005 involving a sex-trafficking ring, three defendants pled guilty to 27 charges connected with operation of a human-trafficking ring from 1991 to 2004. They admitted to forcing young Mexican women into prostitution in brothels throughout the New York City area. The defendants recruited young, poor women in Mexico; offered them better opportunities in the United States; and smuggled them to New York, forcing them into prostitution.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.