California Labor Federation Endorses Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California

Jul 27, 2012   

Oakland, CA – The California Labor Federation today endorsed Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California.  Slated for the November 2012 ballot, Proposition 35 is an initiative that will fight back against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children in the state.  The initiative qualified for the ballot in May, after the Secretary of State certified the signatures submitted by the campaign.

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski announced the endorsement, saying, “The California Labor Federation is dedicated to improving the lives of working people in California and standing against injustice wherever it is found in our state.  That’s why we support Proposition 35.  Prop 35 will help protect vulnerable women and children from human traffickers, who profit from selling them on the streets and online. Let’s pass Prop 35 in November.”

The California Labor Federation is made up of more than 1,200 AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions, representing 2.1 million union members in manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, public sector, health care, entertainment, and other industries. The organization is dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of working people and their families for the betterment of California’s communities. From legislative campaigns to grassroots organizing, its affiliates are actively engaged in every aspect of California’s economy and government.

In California, many vulnerable women and young girls are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies.  The victims are often girls as young as 12 who are sexually exploited for the financial gain of human traffickers.  They are afraid for their lives and abused – sexually, physically, and mentally.

Human trafficking is said to be one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world – and it is taking place right here in our own backyard.  Three cities in California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego – are recognized by the FBI as high intensity child sex trafficking areas.  In addition, a recent national study by a victims’ rights group gave California an ”F” grade for its weak laws dealing with child sex trafficking.

Proposition 35, a partnership of California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation, will protect children in California by:

·         Increasing prison terms for human traffickers.

·         Requiring convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.

·         Requiring all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.

·         Requiring criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.

Proposition 35 has also been endorsed by organizations representing over 90,000 rank and file California Peace Officers, advocates for the protection of children, including Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation, and human trafficking survivors.

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