Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following statement on a recent Associated Press story regarding the implementation of the 2013 Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act:
“In 2013, I was proud to champion the passage of the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act. The purpose of this legislation was to improve how the State treats and provides for survivors. It was also intended to strengthen penalties for perpetrators. Several components of this legislation include the establishment of a statewide commission on human trafficking and a survivor’s assistance fund.
“I am disappointed to hear that the State has not maintained their responsibilities on the Human Trafficking Commission and the maintenance of the survivor’s assistance fund. These components are vital provisions needed for New Jersey to properly address the practice of modern-day slavery. For far too long, justice for survivors was denied while we turned a blind eye to traffickers. This is why I worked tirelessly to see the passage of this landmark legislation.
“As with any new law, it is up to the State to properly and thoroughly implement its provisions. Inaction is not acceptable. Survivors and victims alike are counting on us.”