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Women's Law Center of Maryland Action Alert Human Trafficking Bills
Posted on: 03/18/2012
Women's Law Center of Maryland
Human Trafficking Bills
SUPPORT HB 607 and SB 902
March 16, 2012 This week House and Senate Committees conducted hearings on bills regarding human trafficking. The Women's Law Center supports these bills because they help protect the vulnerable victims of this crime.
The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on House Bill 607 National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Information - Sign Posting Requirements. This bill requires signs advertising the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline to be posted in restrooms at truck stops and interstate highway rest stops. The Women's Law Center supports House Bill 607 because it mandates a valuable method to help inform victims of human trafficking of available resources.
The resources provided through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline may provide a victim with a route of escape. When a victim is being transported, rest rooms at truck stops and rest stops may be one of the few locations where the victim has any privacy. Making information about the Hotline available in these locations is a valuable and potentially lifesaving measure.
The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee had a hearing on Senate Bill 902 Criminal Procedure - Seizure and Forfeiture Property Used in Human Trafficking. This bill authorizes law enforcement agencies to seize and sell property that is used in connection with a human trafficking violation. It establishes an Anti-Human Trafficking Fund, administered by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, to provide funding to aid human trafficking victims and for law enforcement and other organizations that combat human trafficking. At least 50% of the money in the Fund would be given to organizations that provide direct services to victims of human trafficking or conduct education and prevention programs. The balance would be used to support other efforts consistent with the purpose of the funds and law enforcement efforts. The bill also expands the definition of human trafficking to prohibit a person from knowingly recruiting or transporting a person for labor or services and subjecting the person to involuntary servitude or debt bondage.
Human trafficking is a dangerous and painful reality. The U.S. State Department estimates that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders and approximately half those victims are minors. According to the 2005 report, 80% of the internationally trafficked victims are female and 70% are trafficked into the sex industry.
The victims of human trafficking and the sex trade suffer tremendous harm and emotional injury. The participation of victims in involuntary sexual acts and labor is coerced through physical abuse, physical threats and financial extortion. Often these relationships go on for a significant period of time because the victim does not have the resources or protections necessary to extricate herself. Every effort should be made to enhance the enforcement of human trafficking crimes, to provide resources to help victims and to support initiatives to address the issue. Therefore, the Women's Law Center supports these bill because they are appropriate and effective tools to censure human trafficking enterprises and provide resources for victims.
Contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to SUPPORT HB 607. Here are the email addresses for Committee members. Cut and paste into your email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Contact members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and urge them to SUPPORT SB 902. Here are the email addresses for Committee members. Cut and paste into your email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
About Women's Law Center
The Women's Law Center of Maryland is a private, non-profit, membership organization that serves as a leading voice for justice and fairness for women. It advocates for the rights for women through policy analysis, research, education, advocacy and direct services.
Women's Law Center of Maryland, Inc.
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