SCARSDALE – New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is proud to announce that her anti-human trafficking bill (A8071/S5839) was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday. The bill is one part of the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA), which Paulin authored.
A8071/S5839 will provide that local criminal courts shall treat persons 16 and 17 years old who commit prostitution offenses as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) rather than treating them as criminals. This piece of landmark legislation is part of Paulin’s ongoing campaign to end human trafficking and sexual slavery in New York State.
“The victims in these crimes are most often young women, girls really, who have had their childhood stolen and their lives left in ruin because of greedy, depraved individuals,” Paulin said. “By treating them as PINS we are acknowledging that they are the victims, not the perpetrators. They need to be shown the care, attention and protection they deserve so they have every chance to break free from the cycle of violence and degradation that has become so prevalent in their lives.”
“My goal is to help all of these women and provide them with an opportunity to rejoin society and recapture as normal a life as possible. That can’t happen if they are treated as criminals and thrown into jail.”
Paulin worked closely with the New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior League of Westchester County on its “People Are Not For Sale” campaign after authoring the TVPJA in an effort to shed light on the issue of sexual slavery and human trafficking in New York State. She joined with the Junior League to hold informational discussions and town-style meetings last year to help make people aware of this growing problem.
“Individuals trapped in the commercial sex trade are “prostituted”; they are victims who deserve justice and protection from a long chain of exploiters, from pimps to buyers of sex,” Paulin said. “Our laws in New York and the terminology used must reflect this reality. To that end, I will continue to work this session to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act to increase the accountability of the real criminals, the buyers and traffickers, who continue to fuel the growth of this massive industry that preys on our most vulnerable members of society. Remember, people are not for sale.”
A8071/S5839, which was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-24), is the 15th of 16 bills Paulin had sent to Governor Cuomo in 2013 to be signed.