Two Lanza Bills To Combat Human Trafficking Signed Into Law

Andrew J. Lanza

August 17, 2018

Senator Lanza said, “I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bills into law. These laws will make it easier for prosecutors to bring charges against those who prey on children. I am proud to sponsor legislation that will hold criminals accountable for the disgusting and heinous crime of enslaving children for commercial sex. These laws will expand upon the landmark law from 2015, the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, that I also sponsored with Assemblymember Amy Paulin.”

Senator Lanza continued, “I am glad to have partnered with Assemblymember Paulin on this critically important issue. I have been advancing human trafficking legislation in the Senate for years. I welcome Governor Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats (who have blocked my efforts on this and other important issues) to the party. It’s better late than never, but it is dishonest and outrageous for them to criticize Republicans in this State, when we have been out front on this issue and have had to drag them along. Instead of working with myself and legislators like Democrat Amy Paulin – a true champion for victims of human trafficking – they will do and say anything to fool the people in the interests of campaign highjinks and party politics. They should forget their sick obsession with the President and address issues like this, which actually matter to real people. Or better yet – work across the aisle with elected officials from either party – including the President – in the best interests of the people.”

Measures Help Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Increase Access to Crucial Services for All Victims of Human Trafficking

Senator Andrew Lanza today announced two bills helping to end the sexual exploitation of children and provide victims of human trafficking with potentially life-saving services have become law. 

Helping to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children: 

Sex trafficking continues to plague communities across the state, and is especially damaging to the safety and security of children. In 2015, New York bolstered its criminal justice response to trafficking by enacting legislation that Senator Lanza authored, increased the accountability of traffickers and other exploiters while providing necessary protections for victims. However, the law was just a first step in preventing the sexual exploitation of minors and holding traffickers more accountable for the devastating impact they have on the lives of children they abuse.

A new law (S5988A), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island), closes a dangerous loophole by creating the necessary criminal charge of sex trafficking of a child – eliminating the need to prove force, fraud, or coercion where a child under 18 engages in commercial sex. Unlike federal law, New York statutes prior to the signing of this bill put the onus on prosecutors to prove force, fraud, or coercion was used in order to find a person guilty of sex trafficking, even if the victim is a minor.

Increasing Access to Help for Victims of Human Trafficking:

A second new law (S8874) sponsored by Senator Lanza requires facilities such as hotels, inns, and motels to provide informational cards on the services available to victims of human trafficking. Information about services, such as the national trafficking hotline, will be made readily available to trafficking victims and other hotel guests and displayed in public spaces such as public restrooms, individual guest rooms, and near the entrance. This will ensure that victims have access to a discreet informational card so they are able to call the hotline for help at a later time.

Despite the fact that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry, many New Yorkers never see its effects, and namely, the victims among us. According to the Polaris Project, trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses, such as hotels, to sustain their illegal operations. Hotels may be used to house victims while in transit or for the purchase and sale of victims' forced services, with traffickers running their business out of hotel rooms. Because hotels are a known location for exploitation of victims, hotels are an ideal location for presentation of information about services for victims. Information regarding human trafficking services can inform both the victims and other hotel guests about the availability of services for human trafficking victims. 

Senator Lanza said, “I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bills into law. These laws will make it easier for prosecutors to bring charges against those who prey on children. I am proud to sponsor legislation that will hold criminals accountable for the disgusting and heinous crime of enslaving children for commercial sex. These laws will expand upon the landmark law from 2015, the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, that I also sponsored with Assemblymember Amy Paulin.”

Senator Lanza continued, “I am glad to have partnered with Assemblymember Paulin on this critically important issue. I have been advancing human trafficking legislation in the Senate for years. I welcome Governor Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats (who have blocked my efforts on this and other important issues) to the party. It’s better late than never, but it is dishonest and outrageous for them to criticize Republicans in this State, when we have been out front on this issue and have had to drag them along. Instead of working with myself and legislators like Democrat Amy Paulin – a true champion for victims of human trafficking – they will do and say anything to fool the people in the interests of campaign highjinks and party politics. They should forget their sick obsession with the President and address issues like this, which actually matter to real people. Or better yet – work across the aisle with elected officials from either party – including the President – in the best interests of the people.”