Groundbreaking New Law Ensures Sexually Exploited Children Receive Services
New York State is a National Leader in the Fight to End Human Trafficking
Sanctuary for Families and the New York Center for Juvenile Justice applaud New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing bill A8071, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, into law today and cementing New York State’s commitment to treating all prostituted children as victims.
Under this new law, the adult court system will have the authority to treat commercially sexually exploited minors as persons in need of supervision cases (PINS), providing them with the services available to children in Family Courts. It also ensures that these teens will not be exposed to the indelible stigma of a life time criminal record for prostitution.
“This landmark law, for which Sanctuary for Families has been a leading advocate, is a victory in the fight against the sex-trafficking of minors. Victims will get the support and services they so vitally need,” said Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families. “We commend the tireless efforts of Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza to pass the legislation and protect this vulnerable population.”
“Teenagers who are victims of sex trafficking urgently need services and support, not criminalization. They need to be seen and treated, not according to an ill-conceived adult criminal standard, but rather, precisely for who they are: New York’s children,” said Michael A. Corriero, Executive Director of the New York Center for Juvenile Justice.
The New York court system is the nation’s leader in developing innovative way to shift the way we approach human trafficking, and this new law builds on the ground-breaking Human Trafficking Intervention Courts.
"This bill will help save lives in New York State," Senator Andrew Lanza said. "Trafficked minors are abused victims trapped in a modern-day form of slavery. This new law will help protect them so they can go on to live fulfilling lives.”
“Today is a momentous day, as New York continues its strong leadership in the fight to end human trafficking and support the people who are victimized by this atrocious crime. The Courts will finally view all minors who are prostituted as the victims they are,” Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said.
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