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 Crimeâ€™s website, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: â€œ[There] are as many as 27 million men, women and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.â€
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.