NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and The Junior Leagues of New Jersey State Public Affairs Committee Hold Legislative Workshop
On April 28, 2017, the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and The Junior Leagues of New Jersey State Public Affairs Committee held a legislative workshop to enhance New Jersey’s legislation on Human Trafficking.
New Jersey’s Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act of 2013, is one of the toughest anti-trafficking laws in the United States, but it still needs work.
The workshop highlighted the many gaps in the legislation’s and the significant opportunities to further protect communities on the state and federal levels.
At the workshop, volunteers, advocates, and experts focused on six different sub-topics, and actions focused towards a more comprehensive bill to end human trafficking.
Issues discussed included:
- Addressing the culture on trafficking by setting up effective tools to re-frame and re-humanize the mindset that condones the use of sex to promote economic benefits through education and legislation
Education and Training
- Ensuring the compliance with the educational mandates in the current law, and fill in the gaps in training
- Reaching out to hotel and motel owners, operators, health care facilities, law enforcement, schools (teachers, coaches, administrators, students), college personnel and campus police, etc. Also, licensing conditioned upon a training requirement, with oversight to ensure consistency, continuity, and enforcement of education requirements.
Internet and Federal Laws
- Having mandated reporting by Internet service providers, with federal and state incentives. Increasing the degree of crime for cases with the use of the Internet for traffickers and Johns, along with a hotline, pre-programmed on devices on phones
- There is the need of increasing enforcement budget, expanding the models for internet service providers with funding.
Law Enforcement and Victim Identification
- Mandating a level of training for Law Enforcement, incorporating a victim-centered approach utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach to include social workers and other social service oriented professionals
- Increasing the of hours of training to a minimum of 8 hours and continuing education training. Also, filling the gaps in training on the municipal and the judiciary level.
- Focusing on behaviors rather than labels as the term “human trafficking”, to resonate with victims and those who may be witnesses to it
- Creating different awareness efforts for different constituencies such as victims, professionals who interact with victims, members of the public
- Extending supportive services to victims.
- Assisting with the needs such as housing, including crisis intervention wrap around services
- Establishing long-term shelter and long- term planning for survivors, youth, and LGBTQ group.
- Providing services for economic empowerment through job training, financial education, GED, and college assistance;
- Additional service for needs of survivors like adequate medical, behavioral, mental and legal services.
Read our prior report on this important issue – Eradicating Sex Trafficking to End Homelessness.