NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a set of legislations that expands on the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking and the posting of information regarding human trafficking victim services in transportation hubs statewide.
The following is a list of legislations signed into law recently with a brief description of what it is for:
- Legislation S.4263/A.3227 requires Port Authority airports to provide information for human trafficking victims in lactation rooms;
- Legislation S.5527/A.3720 requires MTA facilities to post information to victims of human trafficking;
- Legislation S.6213/A.4264 requires truck stops to post information to victims of human trafficking in lactation rooms;
- Legislation S.6214/A.4265 requires commercial service airports to post information for human trafficking services in lactation rooms;
- Legislation S.5827/A.4586 requires service areas maintained and operated by the New York State Thruway Authority to provide information regarding services available to human trafficking victims in lactation rooms;
- Legislation S.4267/A.4669 requires Port Authority bus terminals to provide information regarding services available to human trafficking victims in lactation rooms;
- Legislation S.395/A.5505 directs the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking to investigate connections between social media and human trafficking; and
- Legislation S.7451/A.7360 extends the task force for an additional four years and adds the New York Secretary of State to the members of the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking, current members of the task force are:
- The Commissioner of The Division of Criminal Justice Services;
- The Commissioner of The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance;
- The Commissioner of The Department of Health;
- The Commissioner of The Office of Mental Health;
- The Commissioner of The Department of Labor;
- The Commissioner of The Office of Children And Family Services;
- The Commissioner of The Office of Addiction Services And Supports;
- The Director of The Office of Victim Services;
- The Executive Director of The Office for The Prevention of Domestic Violence; and
- The Superintendent of The New York State Police.
The Response to Human Trafficking Program – RHTP– operated by The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, supports service providers throughout the state to provide case management and services to confirmed victims of trafficking, the Program supports 11 service providers throughout the state. Services are responsive to individual needs and goals this can include emergency services such as shelter, transportation, food assistance and phone access, medical services, clothing, etc.
Providers also work with survivors to identify and support longer-term goals, such as:
- Health care and mental health services;
- Employment services; and
- Transitional to longer-term housing.
Through RHTP, $2.3 Million has recently been awarded to the following providers statewide serving survivors of human trafficking:
|Safe Horizon, Inc.||NYC||$500,000.00|
|Sanctuary for Families||NYC||$379,000.00|
|My Sister’s Place, Inc.||Westchester||$275,000.00|
|Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island Inc.||Suffolk||$200,000.00|
|Catholic Charities of Long Island||Nassau||$124,250.00|
|International Institute of Buffalo||Erie||$167,208.00|
|Safe Inc of Schenectady||Schenectady||$197,099.00|
|People Against Trafficking Humans Incorporated||Erie||$49,581.00|
|Unity House of Troy Inc.||Rensselaer||$113,000.00|
|Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes Inc.||Ontario||$72,362.00|
The Division of Criminal Justice Services works with law enforcement to ensure that — as part of their basic training — all recruits receive human trafficking training, about 2,500 recruits in 2022 received training on human trafficking, including training on how to make a referral for New York State confirmation. DCJS, in consultation OTDA, has confirmed 240 trafficked persons in New York State since the beginning of 2023, 249 in 2022 and 295 in 2021.
As of July 20, 2023, Legislation S.244B/A.887C required lodging facilities in New York to provide training on identifying and reporting human trafficking to all staff who are likely to interact or encounter guests.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 for free and confidential help in 170 languages or text HELP or INFO to BeFree –233733.