I’m sure we’ve all heard about human trafficking. Human trafficking can be any sort of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. It is a hidden crime that is committed way too much around the world. In order to reduce the occurrence of human trafficking minimum sentencing of human traffickers should be increased to a mandatory 25 years or, if possible, more. Not only will I try and expand the minimum sentences, I will propose more justification and clarification be put into federal charges.
The way to target people would be people with psychological, emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of safety, political, or financial instability. There are plenty of types of human trafficking which include: forced labor, sex trafficking, child labor, commercial sexual exploitation of children, forced child marriage, and child soldiers.
Majority of the time you see traffickers looking for victims in public whether it be at the mall where there’s plenty of vulnerable and gullible teenagers, or even at a school pretending to be an older sibling. There’s plenty if public places traffickers go to look for their next victim. That’s why it’s better for teens to be in large group and it’s also important for them to stick together so they aren’t able to be easily accessed. Don’t think, traffickers will watch their victims until they can come up with a way to approach them and make it seem like a coincidence.
The law of trafficking victim’s protection act of 2000, also known as TVPA, was the first comprehensive federal law to address trafficking, which provides prevention, protection, and prosecution. Throughout the years this same act has been reauthorized throughout the years adding more too it. In 2003, they established the right for victims to sue their traffickers. In 2005, it was reauthorized including a program to shelter minors.
As read in the Polaris Project, in 2008 it “included several new prevention strategies, including requirements that the government provide information about workers’ rights to all people applying for work and education-based visas. It also put in place new systems to gather and report human trafficking data.” Then in 2013, they passed the Violence Against Women Act which “establishes and strengthens programs to ensure that U.S. citizens do not purchase products made by victims of human trafficking, and to prevent child marriage.”
This last reauthorization also, “strengthens collaboration with state and local law enforcement to ease charging and prosecuting traffickers.” Throughout the years, more and more acts have been passed including The Tariff Act of 1930, The Customs and Facilitations and Trade Enforcement Act (2009), The Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), The Mann Act, The PROTECT Act, and National Defense Authorization Act of 2013.
Although, as much as they add onto it for specificity or make new laws, they need to add more years to the actual sentence. Not only that there should be more consequences to be added to the federal penalty charges. As of right now, if you search ‘human trafficking sentence’, the maximum sentence is 14 years. Personally, I don’t think that’s enough, especially not if the victim is dead. Instead of 14 years being the maximum it should be the minimum.
According to the LOA—Proposition 35, the state of California increased criminal penalties up to 15 years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Not only that, once they are convicted the are registered as sex offenders. Also, they are disclosed in Internet activities and identities. It may not seem like much, but it does make a difference. The only bad thing is that this is only in the state of California. Similar criminal penalties vary within the states of Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Vermont, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Utah, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Hawaii, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Washington. Majority of these states verify within a variety of activities whether it be trafficking, force, fraud, coercion, vulnerability, as well as criminal penalties and fines.
The top 3 states for human trafficking are California, New York, and Texas, in that exact order. Based on Human Trafficking Search, “its large immigrant population and booming global economy–currently ranked as the 9th largest in the world.” The main reason being “because of easy access to the California-Mexico border, enabling them to bring victims up from Mexico into California to work as slave labor in sweatshops or on farms.” New York, on the other hand, “has one of the highest rates of domestic sex trafficking in the country”, which is all due to the increasing numbers of homeless people, runaways, and foster care children. Furthermore, Texas has also grown into a so called, “hub of human trafficking due to its location, immigration community and large economy.”
I am thinking about getting involved and getting signatures to be able to pass a bill the make traffickers’ sentence 20 years or more all around the world. Especially for the state of Texas seeing as to they are not involved in any serious activities concerning the fines and penalties for traffickers. In doing so, I will need to get 150 signatures within 30 days so I can get it approved by the House Senate in which they will send to the President who will hopefully approve for it to become a law.
If by any chance the President does not approve and they veto it, “the Congress may attempt to “override the veto”.” When the veto gets 2/3 majority vote, the House Senate overrides the veto and the bill becomes the law. Of course, it’ll take up to ten days to get to the media and out into the public in general, but it can and will get done.
- “Human Trafficking State Laws – National Conference of …” Human Trafficking State Laws, http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/human-trafficking-laws.aspx
- “Top 3 States for Human Trafficking • Human Trafficking Search.” Human Trafficking Search, 12 Dec. 2018, https://humantraffickingsearch.org/top-3-states-for-human-trafficking/
- Effective Communication with Congress – Ancor.org. https://www.ancor.org/sites/default/files/pdf/How%20a%20bill%20becomes%20a%20la w.pdf
- “National Human Trafficking Hotline.” National Human Trafficking Hotline, https://humantraffickinghotline.org/
- “Federal Law.” National Human Trafficking Hotline, 26 Sept. 2016, https://humantraffickinghotline.org/what-human-trafficking/federal-law
- “Current Federal Laws.” Polaris, 17 Oct. 2016, https://polarisproject.org/current-federal-laws
- “Text of Proposition 35, the Ban on Human Trafficking Initiative (California 2012).” Ballotpedia, https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_35,_Ban_on_Human_Trafficking_and_Sex_Slavery_(2012)
- Prop 35 Analysis Edited FINAL 10 3 12 – Downloads.capta.org. http://downloads.capta.org/leg/2012_ballotMeasure/Prop35Analysis.pdf
- “Human Trafficking and Slavery.” Findlaw, https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/human-trafficking-and-slavery.html