Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111845
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File Number: 111845 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-750-11 Control: County Commission
File Name: STRENGTHEN LAWS RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING & SEX Introduced: 9/1/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/20/2011
Agenda Date: 9/20/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION STRENGTHENING FLORIDA LAW RELATED TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SEX TRAFFICKING CONSISTENT WITH LEGISLATION PASSED EARLIER THIS YEAR BY THE GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 11A1 Adopted P

County Attorney 9/1/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS LEGISLATION STRENGTHENING FLORIDA LAW RELATED TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SEX TRAFFICKING CONSISTENT WITH LEGISLATION PASSED EARLIER THIS YEAR BY THE GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

BODY
WHEREAS, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery; and
WHEREAS, victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, women and men who are subjected to force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of State estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across national borders annually, with the number of persons trafficked into the U.S. each year estimated to range from 14,500 to 17,500; and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 200,000 American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year; and
WHEREAS, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and, after drug dealing, is tied with arms-dealing as the second largest criminal industry; and
WHEREAS, many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry, but human trafficking also occurs in the form of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work; and
WHEREAS, Florida is ranked as one of the top three states in the nation for human trafficking cases, along with New York and Texas, according to the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at Florida State University; and
WHEREAS, in 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which not only made human trafficking a crime, but also required that victims who might otherwise be treated as criminals through for example engaging in prostitution, be treated as victims of crime and provided with health and human services if they cooperate with prosecutions; and
WHEREAS, in 2008, Congress passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which reauthorized the TVPA for four additional years and authorized new measures to combat human trafficking, including:
• The creation of new crimes that imposed severe penalties on those who obstruct or attempt to obstruct the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes;
• Broadening the reach of the crime of sex trafficking of minors by eliminating the requirement to show that the defendant knew that the person engaged in commercial sex was a minor in cases where the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the minor; and
• Enhanced penalties for conspiring to commit trafficking-related crimes; and
WHEREAS, current Florida law also provides penalties for human trafficking and sex trafficking; and
WHEREAS, section 787.06, Florida Statutes, provides that it is a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum prison term of 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000, for any person to knowingly engage in or attempt to engage in human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, sex trafficking is regulated under chapter 796, Florida Statutes, related to prostitution; and
WHEREAS, section 796.045 provides that any person who knowingly recruits, harbors or transports a person, knowing that force, fraud or coercion will be used to cause that person to engage in prostitution, commits the offense of sex trafficking, a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum prison term of 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000; and
WHEREAS, a person commits a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum prison term of 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000, if the offense of sex trafficking is committed against a person who is under the age of 14 or if such offense results in death; and
WHEREAS, prostitution is illegal under section 796.07, Florida Statutes, and section 796.07, Florida Statutes, makes it illegal to own or operate a place for the purpose of lewdness or prostitution; and
WHEREAS, a person who commits either of these offenses is guilty of:
• For the first violation, a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 60 days and a maximum fine of $500;
• For the second violation, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 1 year and a maximum fine of $1,000;
• For the third or subsequent violation, a third-degree felony, punishable maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000; and
WHEREAS, a new Georgia law went into effect July 1, 2011 that strengthens laws targeted at curtailing human trafficking and sex trafficking, striking a delicate balance between tougher penalties for traffickers and more equitable treatment for trafficking victims; and
WHEREAS, the new Georgia law, SB 200, passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by the Georgia Governor in May, imposes a 25-year minimum prison sentence for those convicted of using coercion to traffic someone under the age of 18; imposes a minimum 5-year prison sentence on those who pay for sex with a person 16 to 18 years of age; and a minimum 10-year prison sentence on those who pay for sex with a child under the age of 16; and
WHEREAS, SB 200 also provides protections to children and adults engaged in prostitution by allowing them to avoid prosecution on prostitution charges if they cooperate with prosecutors and can prove that they were coerced into such activity through physical abuse, destruction of immigration documents, drug use or financial harm; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature should adopt an approach similar to the Georgia law by providing prosecutors additional tools to fight human and sex trafficking, while at the same time providing additional legal protection for children and adults coerced into the sex trade,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to pass legislation strengthening Florida law related to human and sex trafficking consistent with legislation passed earlier this year by the Georgia General Assembly, which increased penalties for persons engaged in human and sex trafficking.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the issue identified in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2012 and 2013 state legislative packages.




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