NOW to NYS Assembly: End Child Sex Trafficking
Thank you to all the fierce activists who got on our bus to Albany to send a loud message to the NY Assembly: Pass The End Child Sex Trafficking Act (A6823). We built tremendous momentum in the halls of our Capitol and need you to please join the campaign!
NOW-NYC has been on the front lines fighting against sex trafficking and advocating for laws to protect and support survivors. But there are loopholes in the laws that do not adequately protect children who are trafficked that we must change.
New York State’s current anti-trafficking laws require that prosecutors prove coercion when the victim is a minor. This means that, without strong physical evidence, prosecutors can have difficulty building successful cases against child traffickers. Trauma and fear of retaliation often prevent child victims from being reliable witnesses. Consequently, it is difficult to hold child sex traffickers accountable under current New York State law.
We have been working with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, NY State Senator Andrew Lanza and allies across the state to change this.
Bill A. 6823-b / S 5988-A defines the crime of sex trafficking of a child. It will enable prosecutors to charge traffickers with child sexual exploitation without proving the child was coerced into the sex trade.
Currently, federal legislation and laws in 48 states do not require prosecutors to prove coercion in sex trafficking cases when the victims are minors, thus protecting child victims from the trauma of testifying about their abuse. This bill would bring New York State trafficking laws into alignment with federal legislation.
Recognizing that traffickers induce young victims to recruit other children for exploitation, Bill A. 6823-b / S 5988-A also creates an affirmative defense to protect these victims who are 19 and younger. The ultimate goal is to protect children, not incarcerate victims.
Children are major targets of human traffickers both because their exploiters find them easier to control than adults — and because they are in great demand by sex buyers.
They deserve and need our protection and our laws should reflect their vulnerability and status. Assemblywoman Paulin explains, “We are failing New York’s children and we have to do better.” Governor Andrew Cuomo has also announced his support for the law.
On May 15, we took 200 activists on buses from NYC to the State Capitol, demanding Assemblymembers take action. Read our press release here.
Call your Assemblymember and tell them to pass A-6823.b NOW! Find out who your Assemblymember is here.
Read our factsheet for more information on the bill.
Here’s a sample script:
Hi, my name is ______ and I live in your district. I am calling to ask for your support for Assembly Bill A6823-b to end child sex trafficking. Current NYS law re-victimizes sex-trafficked children by forcing them to face their perpetrators in court. This is wrong and we must take action to stop this. Thank you.
National Human Trafficking Hotline: If you or someone you know may be a victim of trafficking, call 888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233-733.
Please click here for our list of resources in NYC and nationwide.