Christie Signs Human Trafficking Bill, Other Measures
Taking action to prevent human trafficking and raise awareness of the issue, Governor Chris Christie on Monday signed the bipartisan “Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act” to strengthen state law by increasing penalties for and providing resources to prevent human trafficking in New Jersey. The legislation is a comprehensive update and expansion to state law and creates the Commission on Human Trafficking to review laws and enforcement and make recommendations to state policy makers; establishes a ‘Human Trafficking Survivor’s Assistance Fund’ to provide victims’ services, promote awareness, and develop training and educational materials; and increases both financial penalties and prison time for those who traffic individuals.
Coupled with the measure, the Governor also signed bills designating each January as “Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and January 11th as “Human Trafficking Awareness Day.”
“As public officials, we have a solemn responsibility to prevent and protect citizens from the dark world of human trafficking,” said Governor Christie. “This comprehensive and bipartisan approach strengthens and expands the state’s ongoing efforts to aggressively combat this brutal practice, and also ensures that the victims of human trafficking receive the treatment they need. This bill is a big step forward toward protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, and I am proud to sign it into law.”