Human Trafficking Consensus Response Form

LWV-Princeton Area Responses to the LWVNJ Study, Fall 2013

I. Prevention

1.The League of Women Voters supports programs and services which combat human trafficking, including but not limited to:

  • Public outreach and awareness programs
  • Services for the homeless, throwaway youth, runaways, and other populations at elevated risk for human trafficking
  • Training for law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and judges
  • Training for medical professionals, adoption agencies, and school personnel
  • Education on Internet safety for young people, parents, guardians, and teachers
  • Public-private partnerships to combat human trafficking

Agree – agree but suggest that “throwaway youth” be replaced with the definition:

Youth who have been asked, told, or forced to leave home by parents or caregivers with no alternate care arranged.

2. The League of Women Voters believes that schools should incorporate age-appropriate information into their curriculum (change to curricula) to educate students about human trafficking [as a form of modern-day slavery] (omit) and to provide them (change to students) with strategies to protect themselves and others from becoming victims of human trafficking.

Agree – but suggest changing to the above words in boldface and omitting the words “as a form of modern- day slavery” since “slavery,” historically defined, was legal whereas human trafficking is not.

Comments: School programs should not be mandatory. They should be age-appropriate, not overly scary. radKIDs was mentioned as an example of such a program.

II. Prosecution

3. The League of Women Voters supports all effective strategies to use laws, public policies, and the law enforcement system to combat human trafficking, including but not limited to:

  • Updating laws and public policies in ways that have proven or potential success in combating human trafficking
  • Making prosecution of human traffickers to the fullest extent of the law a priority of the legal and law enforcement systems
  • Putting convicted sex traffickers of children and adults on the sex offender registry list
  • Enacting laws at the appropriate legislative level to shut down businesses that engage in human trafficking
  • Establishing appropriate civil and criminal mechanisms for penalizing persons who knowingly buy services provided as a result of human trafficking
  • Protection for victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for prostitution or other activities in which they are forced to engage.
  • All minors should be considered to be forced in all such activities.

Agree – but suggest changing the wording of the last two bullet points to make them parallel in structure. Hence: Protecting victims of human trafficking from …. and

Considering all minors to have been forced into....

III. Protection

4. The League of Women Voters believes that all victims of human trafficking should be offered support, counseling, and rehabilitative services as required, including but not limited to:

  • Emergency housing (change to Housing)
  • Medical services
  • Legal aid
  • Personal counseling
  • Addiction services
  • Education
  • Job training
  • Protection from his/her traffickers before, during, and after their prosecution
  • Ability to sue his/her traffickers for civil damages
  • Guardianship/protective custody for trafficked minors

Agree – but since victims need more than just emergency housing and since other bulleted items, such as education, are long-term needs, change to “housing” alone.

Comments: Although there was some discussion that services like education, job training, and even addiction services go beyond the scope of human trafficking, it was agreed that these services should be offered as needed and that the beginning sentence justified the bulleted items.

All members are concerned that there be oversight – an oversight committee perhaps -- to assure that victims receive the services recommended; however, since this concern applies to the implementation of all legislation, we agree that by taking a League position against human trafficking, we are creating the opportunity for the League itself to help provide oversight.

5. The League of Women Voters believes that training to identify and assist victims of human trafficking should be provided by appropriate government or private agencies for relevant professionals, including but not limited to:

  • Medical professionals, including emergency room staff
  • Legal professionals, including lawyers, prosecutors, and law enforcement personnel
  • Educators at all levels of education
  • Mental health professionals, including counselors, therapists, and other personnel

Agree - There was discussion about wording, but no changes were recommended since we agreed with the intent.

IV. Gender Inequity in Human Trafficking

6. The League of Women Voters believes that although both male and female adults and children are victims of human trafficking, the system of human trafficking includes a statistically and anecdotally significant component of gender-based exploitation and violence against women and girls. Accordingly, the LWVNJ believes that combating discrimination and violence against women and promoting gender equity are essential components of efforts to prevent human trafficking.

Disagree – Gender inequity is an issue in its own right. Its inclusion dilutes the focus on human trafficking. Therefore this section should be omitted.

However, if it is included, LGBT's should be mentioned since transgender individuals especially are likely to become victims of human trafficking.

V. Consensus Conclusion

7. LWVNJ opposes all forms of human trafficking: international and domestic, sex and labor, adults and children.

Yes – full approval, no discussion