SACRAMENTO - California Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa) and Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) are authoring Senate Bill 677 to help stop human trafficking by allowing law enforcement to seize land involved in human trafficking and raise civil penalties up to $25,000.
"Human trafficking is the modern day version of slavery, and every additional step toward abolishing this ever present evil is a step we must take. SB 677 is one of those steps," said Assemblyman Van Tran. "We must send the message that anyone participating in human trafficking will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that the victims will be protected."
SB 677 will further deter perpetrators of human trafficking by increasing the penalty. This bill allows any real property used to help promote or aid human trafficking to be seized until the declared nuisance is suppressed, as well as subjecting the trafficker to the costs of the seizure and a civil fine up to $25,000.
"By supporting bills like SB 677, we are affirming California's role as a leader in our nation in the fight against human trafficking," continued Tran. "I have a long history of support in this fight, and will continue to fight to have effective laws on the books to fight human trafficking."
The state of California has one of the largest human trafficking problems in the United States. Human trafficking, as defined in California law, is the dealing with of persons typically forced into either labor or sexual exploitation. According to a 2007 study conducted by the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery Task Force, 90% of human trafficking victims are women, 47% of the victims are used in prostitution, and 33% are used in domestic servitude.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed similar legislation last year.
“With SB 677, we will give the Governor a second chance to do the right thing and help bring much-needed resources to fight human trafficking,” said the bill’s author Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). “Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year and enslaved for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, and unfortunately many of the cases occur here in California. Our state has led the way in combating human trafficking and exploitation, but we should not stop our efforts until all women, men, and children are free and safe from such an appalling offense.”
SB 677 will now be considered by the State Assembly.
If you are a victim of trafficking or an organization needing assistance, please contact the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.