California State Sheriffs’ Association Endorses Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California
Sacramento, CA – The California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) 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 State Sheriffs’ Association President Keith Royal announced the endorsement, saying “All of us in law enforcement in the state of California have witnessed the horrors of human trafficking and the ways in which it impacts the lives of young people, families and communities in California. Proposition 35 will give the law enforcement community the tools we need to more effectively crack down on human traffickers and protect children from online predators. I urge you to join us in supporting Proposition 35 on the November ballot.”
The California State Sheriffs’ Association is a nonprofit professional organization comprised of the 58 sheriffs of California along with thousands of law-abiding citizens throughout the state. The association was formed in 1894 for the purpose of giving California sheriffs an effective voice, and to speak as a collective voice on matters of public safety. Through the Association, sheriffs are able to share information and provide assistance to other sheriffs and departmental personnel, thus enabling improved delivery of law enforcement services to the citizens of California.
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 survivors of human trafficking.