Crossing party lines, Huttle partnered with Republican state Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., to sponsor the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act (A.3352/S.2239).
Keyla M. Munoz, a victim specialist with the FBI in Newark, added: “We’re sending a message that we don’t tolerate this kind of behavior.”
An estimated 30 million people worldwide–including an estimated 57,000 in the U.S.–are exploited and treated as property, according to Time magazine. Human trafficking made headlines last month when terrorists abducted more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school and threatened to sell them if their comrades were not released from prison. Most of the girls still are being held by the terrorists.
In a two-week operation preceding the 2014 Super Bowl, the FBI rescued 16 juveniles forced into prostitution, including some reported missing by their families.
FBI officials, in a statement reported by the Associated Press, said the children ranged in age from 13 to 17 and were found in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. More than 50 women who also were forced to work as prostitutes were rescued, too, and more than 45 pimps were arrested, according to authorities.
Under New Jersey’s law, authorities can prosecute:
- Licensed auto drivers who knowingly transport victims for human trafficking activities
- Perpetrators who knowingly lease property or rent hotel rooms for human trafficking activities
- Hotel workers
- Health Care workers
- Massage Parlor workers
- Website owners who advertise minors as slaves
- People who solicit minors and prostitutes
Munoz said parents and people who work with children should keep a file of updated photos. If a child goes missing, a current photo then can be shared with the public.