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SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the passage out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee of a bill to ensure that those convicted of human trafficking crimes involving minors will not be able to keep the financial benefits reaped from those crimes.
“Human trafficking crimes involving minors are reprehensible and convicted perpetrators should not be able to keep the financial rewards from trafficking,” said Attorney General Harris. “This bill will aid groups who are dedicated to helping victims.”
Senate Bill 1133, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), will force perpetrators of human trafficking crimes to forfeit any profits made from committing those crimes. The bill expands on the current list of assets that are currently subject to forfeiture. These resources will be used to aid the victims of human trafficking by providing resources for treatment and services. SB 1133 passed unanimously and will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
“Sex trafficking of minors is a horrendous crime that is driven by the prospect of lucrative profits,” said Senator Leno. “This legislation aims to deprive convicted criminals of the financial resources and assets that would allow them to continue luring young people into the sex trade. In turn, proceeds from those forfeitures would rightfully be used to help victims begin to repair their lives.”
“We have girls who come in literally wearing just the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet,” said Alexandra Snyder, Policy Director of Courage House, who spoke in support of the legislation.
Attorney General Harris is also sponsoring Assembly Bill 2466 (Preservation of Assets for Victims of Human Trafficking), by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), which will require that more victims of human trafficking receive restitution. AB 2466 will be heard in the Senate Public Safety on June 26.
Attorney General Harris has made the fight against human trafficking a priority throughout her career. This week she announced an innovative program with Yahoo! and Polaris Project to combat human trafficking, which, in the past five years, has largely migrated to the Internet. Through this joint effort, if key search words like “human trafficking” are entered into Yahoo! Search, Internet users will see a banner that states: “Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 to report sex trafficking, forced labor, or to get help.”
For more information, go to the Attorney General’s human trafficking web site at www.oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking.