SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- Assemblywoman Amy Paulin's Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (A.506) was passed by the New York state Assembly on Monday and will now be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.
Also passed was A.2469, which waives the DNA databank fee ($50) for victims of human trafficking.
The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA) is a comprehensive bill that improves upon the current law by increasing criminal penalties for sex and labor trafficking, compelling and promoting prostitution, patronizing a minor for prostitution and patronizing in a school zone.
The TVPJA creates new crimes of aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution, aligns the penalties for patronizing a minor with those of statutory rape and eliminates the term “prostitute” in the Penal Law. This law gives law enforcement the tools they need to convict the criminals and addresses the financial and emotional needs of the young victims.
Paulin and her supporters have been lobbying to get this bill passed for several years.
“I can’t begin to say how thrilled I am that the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act has finally passed,” Paulin said. “Human trafficking is a heinous crime in which pimps take advantage of some of the most vulnerable in our society. It’s a $32 billion industry and of the approximately twenty-seven million people who are trafficked each year, the majority are girls and young women.
In addition to making sex trafficking a Class B violent felony, the bill creates three aggravated patronizing offenses when the person being patronized is a minor.
The passing of this bill in the Assembly also represents a victory for Paulin in that she was able to get it voted on as a stand-alone rather than keeping it as part of the Governor’s 10-point Women’s Agenda.
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