SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) and state Sen. Andrew J. Lanza will hold a news conference on Tuesday, to promote legislation to stop human trafficking in New York.
The two will host the press conference at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 13 in the LCA Pressroom. The conference will promote the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, legislation "that toughens penalties in New York against those who buy and sell young women, men and children to fuel the massive $32 billion sex trafficking industry," according to a press release.
Tuesday is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in New York.
“The effort to bring those who engage in human trafficking to justice and raise public awareness of this heinous exploitation of vulnerable children and adults has been a long journey,” Paulin said. “Slowly, we are bringing out of the shadows the trafficking of young men, women and children.
“By listening to these courageous survivors we begin to understand the depth and complexity of the circumstances that led to their victimization so that we can implement effective means not only to prevent human trafficking but also to eradicate it altogether, and provide victims with the critical services they need to escape from their traffickers and rebuild their lives.”
Paulin and Lanza introduced the legislation in 2013. A portion of the bill was signed into law earlier this year. The new law "allows criminal courts to treat 16- and 17- year olds charged with prostitution and loitering for purposes of prostitution as Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) and provide those youth with specialized services," according to the press release.
Paulin said she hopes to have the bill voted on in the Assembly as a stand-alone measure.
“Here in New York, thousands of innocent people are bought and sold like property each year,” Lanza said. “Human trafficking is a modern version of the slave trade and a devastating human rights violation that is occurring in our own backyards. It is urgent that we pass the long awaited Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act to enhance protections for trafficking victims and hold those who exploit them accountable."