The Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean that would bolster the efforts of the New Jersey Commission on Human Trafficking.
Senator Tom Kean listening to local residents at the NJ Human Trafficking Forum in 2013. (SenateNJ.com)
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 Commission has made great strides in the fight to stop human trafficking,” Kean said. “Now we must do our part. This legislation would give the Commission with the financial support they need to carry out their directives ensuring programs, such as the 24-hour hotline, are operational. These programs can be a saving grace for those in need. I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for lending their support.”
Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) has received more than 3,300 calls regarding human trafficking in New Jersey.
“Human trafficking is enslavement,” Kean said. “For commuters and business leaders, the fact that New Jersey is situated between two major cities is a great thing. However, for the human trafficking victims, our trains, seaports, and interstate highways are a nightmare. These factors provide predators with an accessible location that allows them continue to easily transport women and children – without anyone noticing. It is clear that we must do more to combat human trafficking – thousands of innocent lives depend on our fight to protect them.”
To report a case of human trafficking, please visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org or call 1-888-373-7888.
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