Marylanders: Please Help Bring Human Trafficking to an End in Maryland!
  • Petitioned Maryland State House

This petition was delivered to:

Maryland State House
Maryland State Senate

Marylanders: Please Help Bring Human Trafficking to an End in Maryland!

    1. Petition by

      Polaris

  1.  
  2.   
April 2011

Victory

After months of lobbying from Polaris Project and other anti-trafficking advocates, and after receiving over 27,000 letters from Change.org members, the Maryland legislature has passed three critical ani-trafficking bills.

Huge thanks go out to all the petition signers who helped spur this victory along, the champions of these bills in the Maryland legislature, and all the advocates who spoke out against human trafficking.

 

The 2011 Maryland Legislative Session ends on April 11th and your help is needed to help move several important human trafficking bills before it is too late! These important bills will clamp down on the brutal crime of human trafficking, help victims, provide new investigative tools to law enforcement and increase the penalties for human traffickers. But your help is needed to urge the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to move these bills forward!

There are several ways to help.  In fact, a 30 second phone call to your legislators can make an incredible difference.  You can find out who your legislators are HERE (be sure to click the box for House of Delegates and State Senate). The names of your senator and your 2-3 delegates will appear on the left hand side.

 

Here are the bills:

- SB 247 and HB 418: Asset Forfeiture for Convicted Human Traffickers

Human trafficking is committed for one reason: profit. This legislation provides for the forfeiture of assets derived from or used in connection with human trafficking activity. Proceeds from the assets are directed into the newly created Anti-Human Trafficking Fund, for grants to law enforcement and victim service organizations to respond to human trafficking. In 2010 and in 2011 this bill passed the full Senate unanimously. In the House, however, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee refused to bring it to a vote in 2010, and without strong support from the public he may do the same this year.  

- SB 299 and HB 345 - Human Trafficking – Investigations

This bill will add human trafficking to the list of exceptions to the one party consent law to allow wiretapping and electronic surveillance during a human trafficking  investigation. Crimes now excluded from the ban on wiretapping include child pornography, rape, and murder, among others. 

- SB 327 and HB 266 - Human Trafficking Victims Support Act (2 parts)

Vacating Convictions would provide for the removal of any convictions for commercial sex for anyone later found to be a victim of human trafficking under state or federal law.

Restitution to provide courts with the authority to order that a defendant pay out his gains from labor or sex trafficking to the victim, or compensate the claimant for his or her losses.

- HB 674 - Education - Human Trafficking - Awareness, Training, and Distribution of Materials

This bill will require the State Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to provide awareness and training for the Directors of Student Services in local education agencies on human trafficking. This important bill will help educators and school employees to better recognize the signs of human trafficking. 

- HN 1304 - Human Trafficking in Truckstops

This legislation will require rest areas and truck stops in Maryland, key locations for sex trafficking crimes, to post the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (888-3737-888) in bathrooms, so victims may access help and tipsters can report anything they find, confidentially, 24 hours a day.

Click here to visit our action alert.

Photo Credit: M.V. Jantzen

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory! Maryland Passes Critical Anti-Trafficking Laws

      by Polaris

      This week, the Maryland General Assembly passed not one, not two, but three critical pieces of anti-trafficking legislation, which will help further the fight against human trafficking in the state. Congratulations to anti-trafficking organization...

    2. by Polaris

      Great news: HB674 – passed the House and Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk! Thank you to everyone who signed the petition!

    3. by Polaris

      The Hotline Bill: HB1304 - passed the house but is currently in Senate Rules. Please urge everyone you know to call Chairman Thomas Middleton of the Senate Finance Committee at 301-858-3616 or 800-492-7122, ext. 3616, and urge him to move HB1304 forward with a favorable report!

    4. State-Wide Call-In Day to Fight Human Trafficking in Maryland

      by Polaris

      Today is a state-wide call-in day to fight human trafficking in Maryland. A critical bill, which would ensure that convicted human traffickers do not get to keep the ill-gotten gains of their brutal crime, is in danger of dying without even being...

    5. by Polaris

      Hey Marylanders! Tomorrow is a state-wide call-in day to fight human trafficking. Stay tuned for details.

    6. by Polaris

      HB 266 just passed the House! Your letters are working -- let's keep up the pressure!

    7. Progress! Critical Maryland Trafficking Bills Closer to Becoming Law

      by Polaris

      Last week, over 25,000 Change.org members signed a petition asking the Maryland state legislature to pass critical anti-trafficking legislation before the end of their session. This week, progress has been made on three important bills. Will you help...

    8. by Polaris

      The Maryland legislature can hear you. Keep up the pressure as they make their final decisions!

    9. Reached 25 signatures
    10. by Polaris

      The vote has been delayed till this evening, but let's keep up the pressure!

    11. by Polaris

      The Judiciary Committee will decided tonight whether to vote in favor of part of this legislation -- let's make sure they know Marylanders support fighting human trafficking.

    12. Reached 20 signatures
    13. by Polaris

      A critical vote to move these bills forward will take place tomorrow evening. Can we get 10,000 signatures by then?

    14. Reached 8 signatures
    15. Marylanders Fight To Pass Critical Anti-Trafficking Laws

      by Polaris

      Currently, human trafficking victims in Maryland don't have access to critical resources to help them recover from their horrific experiences. But there are two bills before the state House and Senate that could fill these gaps. The 2011 Maryland...

    16. by Polaris

      The Maryland state legislature has until this Friday to pass critical laws that would help human trafficking victims. Will you help by sending this petition to friends and family in Maryland.

    17. by Polaris

      HB 674 passed the full House today, Thursday March 17, and is currently awaiting Senate committee assignment!

    18. by Polaris

      HB 674 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on TOMORROW Wednesday, March 2 at 1:00 p.m.

    19. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Dennis Petrak BLACK EAGLE, MT
      • over 3 years ago

      this kind of nonsense must be stopped!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christine Tanner BOWIE, MD
      • over 3 years ago

      Put an end to Human Trafficking!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Wendy Benay Watson SANFORD, FL
      • over 3 years ago

      So close to our capitol..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amy Parkhurst BOWIE, MD
      • over 3 years ago

      Please give our law enforcement the power they need to actually bring about the end of human trafficking in Maryland, not just the power to sweep this issue under the rug.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jennifer Gagliano COMMACK, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      I really admire and believe in the bills you are trying to get passed, and I can only hope my state and others will follow in your lead.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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