New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) announced today that his anti-human trafficking law which was signed by Governor Spitzer on June 6th, 2007 is now in effect as of January 1, 2008. The comprehensive new law will increase criminal penalties for individuals who engage in human and sex trafficking while providing victims the vital resources and support they need to assist them in recovering from the crime.
The anti-human trafficking law was among the landmark bills that garnered bipartisan support during the 2007 Legislative Session. In announcing the enactment of the law, Governor Spitzer commended Senator Padavan for working “tirelessly for passage of this important bill.”
“With the New Year comes the full enactment of my anti-human trafficking law,” Padavan said. “Thanks to over five years persistence and unwavering support from my Senate colleagues and victims advocacy groups we were able to secure bipartisan enactment of this important law. New York is now the leader in the fight to end this modern day form of slavery with stronger criminal penalties for individuals convicted of human trafficking. Additionally, victims will now have the support and resources they need to help them overcome this heinous crime. ”
The new law establishes the felony crime of sex trafficking, punishable by 3 to 25 years in prison and labor trafficking, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison. The law will also dramatically increase criminal penalties for individuals convicted of the growing and sickening problem of sex tourism by subjecting travel agencies involved in arranging sex tours to a D felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.
In addition, human trafficking will now be added to the Organized Crime Control Act allowing law enforcement officials to charge individuals involved in human trafficking with a separate B felony punishable by 3 to 25 years in prison.
The new law provides restitution from the NYS Crimes Victims Board for victims of human and sex trafficking. In addition, victims will now be provided assistance from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTADA) to find housing, health care, mental health counseling, drug treatment, language services and
The law also establishes an “interagency taskforce on human trafficking” that will collect data, coordinate with federal programs, develop new strategies to proactively combat human trafficking and increase public awareness on the issue.