Pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act- A.2240D/ S.5879B
This petition had 2,210 supporters
The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act will protect minors trafficked into the commercial sex industry, hold their abusers accountable, and help New York take steps to eliminate all forms of modern-day slavery.
This bill improves our current laws dealing with human trafficking with the following provisions:
- This bill creates the felony sex offense of “aggravated patronizing a minor,” which aligns the penalties for buying sex from a minor with those for statutory rape.Right now, raping a child, then paying them, enables prosecutors to charge the rapist with “prostitution”, and allows the rapist to escape serious consequences. Furthermore, like accused statutory rapists, those accused of engaging in sex with minors cannot use the defense that they didn’t know the age of the child.
- Establishing sex trafficking as an affirmative defense to prostitution. This means defendants who were trafficked can avoid conviction and penalties under prostitution laws. This encourages defense lawyers to investigate their clients’ experiences carefully and bring trafficking concerns to the attention of prosecutors and courts. It also gives victims a chance to rebuild their lives with clean criminal records.
- This bill replaces all references in the Penal Law of “prostitute” with the phrase “person for prostitution.”The use of the term “prostitute” is the only instance where the Penal Law identifies someone by the crime he or she has allegedly committed. This change re-affirms the humanity of all people, including people in prostitution.
- This bill puts the responsibility for sex trafficking on vendors and customers.
- This bill increases the penalties for sex traffickers and customers. The brunt of current law enforcement falls on trafficking victims- people who have often fallen through every safety net our society is supposed to offer. With this in mind that we urge support for the TVPJA.
To learn more about the TVPJA, click here.
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