With the Rugby World Cup being held in New Zealand this year, concern exists that it will attract traffickers to use New Zealand as a source destination. Currently our judicial system has the means to prosecute those who engage in trafficking into New Zealand, within New Zealand and from New Zealand but a Judge must creatively draw on various bits of legislation to do so and in most cases it is not named as trafficking. It is the same for providing proper protection and support to victims. Clarity needs to be provided to our legislation relating to human trafficking to properly provide a solid framework for legally dealing with the issue.
We need a clear piece of legislation that effectively defines and confronts all aspects of human trafficking. This must include expanding our definition of trafficking beyond that which takes place across international borders. It must also recognise internal trafficking.
Tell political leaders to properly address human trafficking in New Zealand and create a clear piece of legislation that confronts it in all its forms.
Currently, New Zealand laws that deal with trafficking issues are disjointed. I would like to see one clear piece of legislation that properly addresses human trafficking in all its forms.
New Zealand has the historic opportunity to curb trafficking by passing a groundbreaking law that includes the following provisions:
1) The crime of trafficking must be defined to meet the experiences of real trafficking victims. The definitions, of both sex and labor trafficking, must specifically articulate all the different fraudulent and abusive tactics that traffickers use against their victims. It must also broaden New Zealand’s current legal definition of trafficking to include trafficking within the country.
2) Trafficking should be classified as a serious crime. Criminal penalties must adequately reflect the serious harm inflicted by human traffickers. Only the prospect of significant jail time can deter those now lured by the huge potential profits of trafficking.
3) Survivors of human trafficking need a comprehensive set of immigration and social services to assist them in rehabilitating their lives. Victims who have been brought into the country must not simply be ‘exported’. We must properly pursue rehabilitation for them.
I ask you to act now to ensure the creation and passage of a strong anti-trafficking law, one that will give the police, attorneys and Judges the essential tools needed to prosecute all who perpetrate and profit from the human trafficking industry, and one that provides relief to its victims.