Legislation Follows Reports that Thousands Have Been Impacted by Human Trafficking in NJ in Recent Years
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean that would bolster the efforts of the New Jersey Commission on Human Trafficking has passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
Senator Tom Kean listening to local residents at the NJ Human Trafficking Forum in 2013. (SenateNJ.com)
“Human trafficking is truly a form of modern-day enslavement. It routinely and disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable residents – and it’s happening right here in New Jersey,” Kean said. “Our state is situated between two major cities. You can get here in a flash by taking an airplane, arriving at a seaport, or speeding down an interstate. These are all factors that have made New Jersey a target for human trafficking.
“The Commission has done great work in recent years, but they need more support immediately. The numbers don’t lie. It is clear that we have to do more to combat human trafficking in order to keep families in New Jersey safe.”
Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) has received more than 3,300 calls regarding human trafficking in New Jersey.
Senator Kean’s bipartisan legislation, S-2691, would make a supplemental appropriation of $100,000 to the New Jersey Commission on Human Trafficking.
The funds provided by S-2691 would enable the commission to better address the directives outlined in the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act, a State law enacted in 2013. Senator Kean, a longtime supporter of efforts to combat human trafficking, was a proud sponsor of the legislation when it was enacted.
Currently, the Commission’s directives include:
- To evaluate the existing laws concerning human trafficking.
- To review existing survivor assistance programs.
- To promote a public and private coordinated response.
- To develop mechanisms to promote public awareness of human trafficking.
“The commercial sexual exploitation of children and women is a global problem that is tragically happening right in our own backyard,” Kean said. “Our bipartisan legislation is an effort to fund necessary programs, such as the national 24-hour hotline service on human trafficking. This is a worldwide crisis. New Jersey must do its part to aid survivors and prevent others from suffering as well.”
To report a case of human trafficking, please visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org or call 1-888-373-7888.
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