- New York Governor
- Gov. Andrew CuomoGovernor of New York State
A Petition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging for much-needed funds to support human trafficking victims.
January is human trafficking awareness month. This year, let’s do more than just talk about the horrors of human trafficking. Let’s start solving it, by reducing the number of potential victims. To do that we need your help! Please urge Governor Cuomo to provide critically-needed funding for victims of human trafficking and homeless youth at risk of trafficking in his Executive Budget, which will be released at the end of January.
As the President of Covenant House, New York's largest provider of services to homeless, trafficked and at-risk youth, I see firsthand the struggles young people face on our streets every day. We know all too well that there are not enough beds for homeless young people in the state, and when vulnerable youth do not have access to shelter and services, there is a pimp or trafficker lying in wait to lure them in. A recent study by Covenant House New York/Fordham University found that almost one in four of surveyed Covenant House youth were either victims of trafficking or felt they needed to trade sex in order to survive. Almost half of them said that not having a place to stay was a main reason for their trafficking experiences. More state funding for homeless youth is critical to ensuring that fewer young people are exploited on our streets.
In 2008, New York was the first state to pass groundbreaking safe harbor legislation to protect young victims of sex trafficking, to provide them with help (housing, social services, and medical care) rather than with handcuffs. And just this month, Governor Cuomo signed critically important legislation extending the ground-breaking Safe Harbor Act to 16- and 17 year- olds. But laws are not enough. To aid these children and youth in escaping the violence of human trafficking, New York needs to fully fund this critical law. New York’s sexually exploited youth need mental health care, lawyers, doctors, job training and education, and most of all safe places to live and heal. Yet, there is woefully little state funding to provide these things for them.
That is why we are asking Governor Cuomo to continue New York State’s leadership in protecting trafficking victims by including $20.2 million in this year’s Executive Budget to fund services for trafficking victims and homeless youth.
Please sign this petition to Governor Cuomo to urge him to start solving human trafficking.
President, Covenant House
- New York Governor
- Governor of New York State
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
To: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Just this month, you signed critically important legislation to protect all of New York’s commercially sexually exploited children, extending the ground-breaking Safe Harbor Act to 16- and 17 year- olds. In addition to being the first state in the country to pass Safe Harbor, New York has continued its leadership as the first state to develop Human Trafficking Intervention Courts. We have the legal framework to help all commercially exploited youth. Now, we need services.
There are thousands of homeless youth on the streets of New York and the youth shelters are all at full capacity. We know that when a homeless young person cannot find shelter and services, there is always a pimp or other trafficker waiting.
We need your leadership to continue solving human trafficking by including $20.2 million in this year’s Executive Budget for trafficking victims and homeless youth. By providing this appropriation, you will have a direct and real impact on the safety and well-being of children and young adults who have been victimized for too much of their short lives.
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