Dealing with a Form of Twenty-First Century Slavery
Two state lawmakers say California is long overdue in designating human trafficking as a felony. As Jenny O’Mara reports, they plan to make legislation a priority in the coming year.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Democratic Assembly members Sally Lieber (LEE-bur) and Leland Yee are taking on the issue of human trafficking. Many call it a modern form of slavery in which people are coerced into forced labor or sex trades. Lieber says her bill will ensure the practice is recognized in state law as a felony. Cut: Sally1 (:07) “ Victims are not able to access their rights as quickly as they should be able to because we don’t have a state-specific law.” Both Lieber’s and Yee’s bills would also seek state assistance for the victims of trafficking. According to a report from the Human Rights Center at U-C Berkeley, forced labor operations have been found in more than a dozen California cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Fresno. Federal statistics show between 14 and 17 thousand people are trafficked into the U-S each year. SOC