This week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation by Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) to combat human trafficking.
Also, to help give victims an opportunity to escape their captors by prominently displaying the human trafficking hotline and other resources in bus terminals and airport restrooms.
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “No community is immune to the scourge of human trafficking, and it’s critical that we do everything we can to give victims the opportunity to escape their captors and survive the trauma they’ve been forced to endure. Prominently displaying the national human trafficking hotline in places where victims will see it is a common-sense way to help a person in need, and it will help raise awareness of the problem among members of the public who might be able to step in and help. I’m proud to partner with Assemblymember Amy Paulin on legislation that will require the posting of victims’ resources in airports and bus terminals, and I’m grateful for Governor Hochul’s leadership in signing the bills into law.”
“Every day, women and girls are forced by sex traffickers to sell themselves to men with expendable income,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “I’m proud to have authored legislation to combat the illegal sex trafficking industry. These bills require the publicity of critical support services for victims in transportation hubs, as well as training for hotel workers so that they can spot and report trafficking. Sex trafficking is often conducted in plain sight but is not identified, and traffickers depend on lodging and transportation to operate. By reaching victims at these intersections where they can be identified and connected to services, we can offer them a lifeline to safety and freedom. I applaud Governor Hochul for signing these bills into law and for her commitment to ending sex trafficking.”
Airports and bus terminals are known hubs used to traffic victims, and as a result, they are an ideal location to provide information about victim services.
Many victims are heavily supervised and controlled while in transit, preventing them from safely seeking help or finding resources for fear of retaliation.
Restrooms are often the only place human trafficking victim finds themselves separated from their captor, and by having victim services informational signs or cards posted in all restrooms, victims will have easy access to information that can help them escape their situations.
The bills, S.8262/A.9169, and S.8573/A.9410 will:
- Help reach human trafficking victims in airports. S.8262 requires all Port Authority airport restrooms to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number. This includes all restrooms at LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark Liberty Airports.
- Help reach human trafficking victims in bus terminals. S.8573 requires all Port Authority bus terminal restrooms to post information on services for trafficking victims, as well as the national human trafficking hotline number.
The new laws will take effect in 60 days.