Vermont used to be one of only a handful of states with no law against human trafficking - but it is moments away from having a comprehensive human trafficking bill with some of the strongest human trafficking provisions in the nation! House Bill 153 passed the Vermont legislature and is currently awaiting Governor Shumlin’s signature. Your support is needed to urge him to sign this bill into law!
H.153 will create new human trafficking crimes and penalties (a maximum of life in prison and a $500,000 fine), provide mandatory restitution to victims, and allow victims to sue their traffickers. The bill also permits the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline to be posted in workplaces, and requires the Department of Labor to develop a plan to educate and raise awareness among employers about: 1) the problem of human trafficking, 2) the existence of the NHTRC hotline, and 3) resources available to them and victims.
Also included in the bill is a provision for safe harbor for minors which protects them from prosecution for prostitution in criminal court. This would make Vermont the fifth state in the nation to recognize children in prostitution as victims, not criminals.
This critical piece of legislation has passed both Chambers of the Vermont State Legislature and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Please let Governor Shumlin know that you support this bill being signed into law!
(Photo courtesy of Putneypics from Flickr Creative Commons)