June 10, 2016 By Michael Florio
A new bill passed the Assembly earlier this week that aims to prevent human trafficking.
The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, calls on the State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to create posters—and place them in public places– that would notify trafficking victims where they can find help.
“This bill would put vital information in places where victims can see it and give them a chance to be saved from this atrocious form of modern-day slavery,” Simotas said.
The Assembly passed the bill on June 8th. A companion bill passed the State Senate on June 7th.
Simotas’ bill mandates that the posters give the name and toll-free number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, at 1-888-373-7888.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center was created for the express purpose of providing victims of human trafficking “with access to critical support and services to get help and stay safe.”
The hotline is a 24/7 service, operated with support from the U.S. Justice Department.
The bill requires the following statement be included on the poster:
“If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave –whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, or any other similar activity – call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.”
Under provisions of the bill, these informational posters would be made available for placement in public places where they are likely to be seen by trafficking victims. These locations include: bus stations, highway rest stops and truck stops, airports, adult or sexually oriented businesses, hospitals and urgent care centers.