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Human trafficking bill becomes law

A piece of legislation that will create stricter penalties for human trafficking while also providing assistance to victims was recently signed into law.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery and among the most repugnant crimes,” said Governor Eliot Spitzer. “Today we have given law enforcement the ability to adequately prosecute perpetrators, and have provided meaningful assistance for the unfortunate victims of these egregious crimes.”
Under the recently passed bill, a class B felony has been created for people who take part in sex trafficking, a class D felony has been created for people participating in labor trafficking and this legislation “removes ambiguity in existing law to assure that District Attorneys can bring felony charges against those who run ‘Prostitution Tourism’ businesses.”
Another feature of the legislation will provide helpful services to victims. These include emergency temporary housing, healthcare access, drug addiction treatment, translation services and job training. It also says that law enforcement must coordinate with the federal government so that victims can get special visas.
Also, it creates an interagency task force that will make recommendations on training and outreach to law enforcement and service providers. It will also gather information on victims and the effectiveness of the law.
“While enactment of this landmark law today is the most significant step to date in the fight to eradicate human trafficking in New York, we must remain sharply focused and constantly work on new ways to enhance our efforts,” said Senator Frank Padavan, a sponsor of the bill. “Thanks to this new law a new interagency task force will continue to foster collaboration between all levels of law enforcement and groups committed to the ongoing efforts to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking.”

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