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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Human Traffickers Won't Get to Pocket Profits From Slavery Under New Bill

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Not for sale!
  • Not for sale!
Two bills passed through the state Legislature today that force convicted criminals to give up any profits they make from trafficking minors into California. The cash would be funneled into helping the emotionally traumatized victims, Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) authored S.B. 1133, which lists what assets human traffickers would have to forfeit upon conviction. The bill also has a formula for distributing the money, ensuring human traffickers cannot benefit from enslaving kids.

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) penned a second bill (A.B. 2466) that says human traffickers can't liquidate their trafficking earnings prior to being convicted. It would protect the money so that if the trafficker were convicted, the money would to go to provide restitution to the victims.

Leno hopes that these new laws will "deprive convicted criminals of the financial resources and assets that would allow them to continue luring young people into the sex trade," he said in a statement.

Both bills passed unanimously, and will go to the Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for his signature.

Harris has made human trafficking a priority since her election in 2010. She co-sponsored a bill that made human trafficking a felony in California in 2005, and she's currently working with Yahoo! to fight the practice  online. Human trafficking ranks just behind drug and arms trafficking as the third most lucrative business for criminals, Harris said, adding that it is a $32 billion business.

Harris isn't the only one who's passionate about stopping trafficking. Eight-year-old Vivienne Harr of Fairfax has raised $30K selling lemonade to fight human trafficking.

"Trafficking is slavery and we cannot have the perpetrators of this despicable crime gaming the system in California," Blumenfield said. "By signing this bill, the governor can help reclaim justice for victims."
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