Categorized | Opinion

Prop. 35 increases penalties on modern day slavery

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It is vital that when you head to the polls on Tuesday, you mark yes on Proposition 35. Human trafficking is a modern day slavery that largely targets minors and minorities. People are captured and forced into labor or prostitution.

According to the Office for Victims of Crime’s website, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “[There] are as many as 27 million men, women and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.”

If Proposition 35 is passed, according to the summary prepared by the attorney general of California, six parts will be put into effect.

The first part is an increase in criminal penalties for human trafficking. That includes prison sentences from 15 years to life in prison and fines up to $1.5 million.

According to the analysis of the proposal, the current law states that the penalty for labor trafficking is five years. If the proposition is passed, the penalty will be raised to 12 years.

Current law for sex trafficking of an adult by force is also five years and would be increased to 20 years.

Current law for sex trafficking of a minor without force is not defined as human trafficking but the proposition would redefine it as human trafficking and the penalty would be 12 years. Sex trafficking of a minor by force is currently eight years but would be increased to a life sentence.

Sentence enhancement under current law states six years for great bodily injury but none for prior human trafficking offenses. If the proposition is passed the penalty for great bodily injury will be increased to 10 years and five years for every prior conviction.

The fine of $1.5 million is for all human trafficking offenses, which will be an increase from $100,000 in fines for only sex trafficking of a minor.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated $9.5 billion is generated through all trafficking activities on an annual basis.

The second part in the summary says that the fines collected will be used for services provided to the victims and towards law enforcement.

The analysis says that 70 percent of the funds would be given to public and nonprofit groups that provide direct services to the human trafficking victims. The remaining 30 percent would go to law enforcement and prosecution agencies to be used for prevention, witness protection, and rescue operations for human trafficking cases.

The last points of the summary are people convicted of trafficking will register as a sex offender, registered sex offenders will have to disclose information of their Internet access and their online activities, and mandatory training for police officers on human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a serious offense and current law is not tough enough. Human traffickers prey on the weak and young. If rapists, child molesters, and other sex crimes are being cracked down on, so should human traffickers who make money off of others pain and abuse.

 

 

vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2012/general/…/35-title-summ-analysis.pdf

ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2012/pdf/StatisticalOverviews.pdf

www.ncadv.org/files/HumanTrafficking.pdf

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One Response to “Prop. 35 increases penalties on modern day slavery”

  1. Hope says:

    Fueled by the Internet, human trafficking is flourishing in California because the profits are huge and the laws are weak. Gangs are now getting into trafficking because it is less risky and more profitable to sell children than to sell drugs. Prop 35 is endorsed by law enforcement organizations, prosecutors, elected officials, and child advocates throughout California because it provides the strong penalties, fines and prosecutorial tools required to put the traffickers away for a long time and take away their huge profits – things the current law has failed to do and the federal courts don’t have the resources do accomplish, with only four U.S. attorney offices in California, compared to the state’s 58 offices. Traffickers have avoided prison because of numerous loopholes in the current law. Prop 35 closes those loopholes. Fines that are collected from convicted traffickers will go to the services victims need to recover from their trauma and get their lives on track and to law enforcement training. Further, Prop 35 recognizes the children as the victims. It protects them in the courtroom where, under the current law, they are treated as criminals because their past behavior can be used against them when they testify against their abusers. Prop 35 prevents a victim’s sexual conduct from being admitted as evidence. It also removes the requirement that the prosecution has to prove force, fraud or coercion in a child sex trafficking case and requires convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders and disclose their Internet accounts. We need to protect our children from traffickers who cruise Internet the same as traffickers who cruise the streets. Note that costs that result from Prop 35 will be negligible, especially when viewed long term. The fines will generate new funds to pay for the vital services necessary to help survivors recover, build new lives, and become contributing members of the community. And law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and social services will see savings through vast reductions in future arrests and broken lives. To learn more go to http://www.VoteYesOn35.com.

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