Rep. Doreen Costa Takes Aim at Punishing ‘Buyers and Sellers’
Bill Creates Council on Human Trafficking Focused on Prevention
STATE HOUSE – The State’s most comprehensive bill on human trafficking will be heard today by the House Judiciary Committee at the Rise in Room 101 of the State House.
The Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking (2016 H-7527), introduced by Rep. Doreen Costa, (Dist. 31-North Kingstown, Exeter), would establish penalties for human trafficking for sexual servitude, forced labor, and commercial sexual activity. In addition the bill would establish a council on human trafficking for the prevention of these offenses as well as establish programs to assist victims including making victims eligible for compensation under the criminal injuries compensation act.
“Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes. To treat people as a commodity rather than as human souls is completely against everyone’s sense of what is decent and good,” said Costa. “Our country was founded on the principles of freedom. To allow this degrading of people, whether it be by the seller or buyer, is completely unacceptable and those responsible must be punished.”
The bill makes sex trafficking of a minor a felony punishable by up to 50 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $40,000. Sex trafficking on an adult would be punishable by up to 20 years year in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Those patronizing a minor for sexual servitude would also be guilty of a felony and subject to up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. Those who commit sexual servitude of an adult would face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
“Another important piece of this bill is the creation of the Council on Human Trafficking in the executive branch which will develop a coordinated and comprehensive plan to provide victims with services as well as promote public awareness,” said Costa. “By gathering members from the public and private sector, our state do many things to not only prevent human trafficking from occurring in our state but also to assist victims. I think this is one of the most important pieces of legislation I have ever introduced and I’m committed to seeing it through.”
The public is invited to attend the hearing and share their thoughts and opinions, she said. “I encourage people to come and speak out against human trafficking and join in the effort to make stopping it a priority,” said Costa.
This bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-District 56, Central Falls), Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-District 28, Cranston), Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-District 55, North Providence), and Rep. Cale P. Keable (D-District 47, Burrillville, Glocester).
For more information, contact:
Louise Tetreault, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
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