La Opinión

Oct 24, 2012   

It is shameful for human trafficking to be a reality in our days.

Slavery and the human trafficking behind it seem like a matter for other countries, far removed from the 21st-century United States. However, that’s not the case. This problem is a reality that must be confronted by approving Proposition 35.

The ballot initiative, also called the Ban on Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery, is a group of measures that increases the punishments and in some cases puts state law on par with federal law, in human trafficking cases for the purposes of prostitution or forced labor.

This is a serious problem in our nation. According to a 2011 State Department report on human trafficking, the “United States is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, document servitude and sex trafficking.”

Cases of domestic workers being brought from abroad and then kept in slavery conditions are known; there have also been similar cases with groups of apparel industry employees. The State Department’s analysis indicates that these practices have also been observed in agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services and others.

At the same time, when it comes to sex trafficking cases, the FBI has classified Los Angeles as a “high intensity” child sex trafficking area in California. One of the initiative’s important points, in addition to increasing sentences and fines, is to register those convicted of sex trafficking as sex offenders.

It is worth pointing out that Proposition 35 also addresses the need to understand, for example, that in many cases a prostitute is not just a criminal, but first is a victim of sexual trafficking. In this case, the money obtained from fines and seizures will be used to train law enforcement about this aspect in order to deal with human trafficking in the most appropriate way.

The immigrant community has been one of the worst hit by this, since through false promises, criminals take advantage of other people’s dreams and necessities to enslave them.

Human trafficking is a scourge that survives even today. Vote yes on Proposition 35 to fight human trafficking in California.

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