Singleton, Gopal, Bill to Combat Human Trafficking Advances

Trenton – In an effort to further combat human trafficking in New Jersey, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, and Senator Vin Gopal, which would hold all those who benefit from human trafficking accountable.

“It is no secret that human trafficking occurs across our nation, and here in New Jersey. This is a deliberate and highly extensive crime that involves the participation of numerous entities,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This legislation would allow victims and survivors to bring anyone who knowingly aids and profits from trafficking to justice. By expanding current law, we are giving power back to the survivors and their families.”

The bill, S-1211, would authorize civil actions against entities who knowingly profit from human trafficking. Under the bill, a person may be subject to civil suits if they are aware of human trafficking and allow it to continue while financially benefitting from it.

“Human trafficking is a modern-day slavery that keeps some of our most vulnerable residents – most of whom are women and children – held captive physically, psychologically and emotionally,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Over 80 percent of human trafficking is classified as sex trafficking, which heavily relies on the use of hotels and motels. Current law fails to capture the entire scope of beneficiaries of this heinous crime. This legislation would rectify this to open the door for any party who knowingly profits off of human trafficking to be held accountable.”

Under current law, any person injured as the result of a human trafficking offense may bring a civil suit against the actor and all those acting in concert with that actor. The measure would expand the current statute by allowing civil actions against any person or entity who is aware of human trafficking offenses and allows them to continue while receiving a monetary benefit from the offense, or who maintains trafficking victims. 

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.