Human Trafficking Bill Passes Assembly

On Tuesday, April 12, the New York State Assembly passed a NYCF-supported human trafficking bill.

Bill A.8650-A (Paulin), which would provide training for medical professionals in regard to the identification and assessment of human trafficking victims, passed the State Assembly by a vote of 136 to 0. This common-sense measure would equip health care providers to support trafficking victims more effectively. The bill states that general hospitals, diagnostic centers, treatment centers, and outpatient departments “shall provide for the identification, assessment, and appropriate treatment or referral of persons suspected as victims of human trafficking, and in the case of persons under eighteen years old, the reporting of such persons” as abused or maltreated children. The bill would also require that such facilities train personnel to recognize potential trafficking victims and to provide them with needed treatment and information. Furthermore, the bill states that the Commissioner of Health “shall approve institutions…to provide training under this section.” The bill sponsor’s memorandum indicates that “fewer than 10% of doctors recognize trafficking victims and fewer than 3% of ER doctors have received training in recognition” of such victims.

Bill A.8650-A has the potential to help trafficking victims escape from their traffickers. Therefore, we urge that the Senate companion measure—Bill S.6835-A (Lanza)—be passed before the end of this year’s legislative session.