New Act to Combat Human Trafficking Approved

(July 11, 2013) -

Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago IL 60602
(312) 450-6600, www.uniformlaws.org

Contact:  Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, katie.robinson@uniformlaws.org

For Immediate Release:

New Act to Combat Human Trafficking Approved

July 11, 2013 — A new act approved today by a national law group provides important new tools in the fight against human trafficking.  The Uniform Act on the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking (UAPRHT) was approved by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 122nd Annual Meeting in Boston.

Human trafficking – a form of modern day slavery – is a global concern that affects the United States on all levels:  federal, state, and local.  Human trafficking has become the second fastest growing criminal activity in the United States, behind only drug trafficking.

Statistics are hard to come by, but U.S. government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually.

According to the Polaris Project (a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery):

  • 27 million:  the estimated number of people in modern-day slavery around the world;
  • 1 million:  the number of children exploited by the global commercial sex trade each year.

According to the U.S. State Department’s Report on Human Trafficking 2012:

  • 14,500 – 17,500:  the estimated number of people trafficked into the U.S. each year;
  • 50% of the people trafficked into the US each year are children;
  • 244,000:  the number of American children and youth estimated to be at risk of child sexual exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation

In recognition of this growing crisis, the ULC drafted this comprehensive new law directed against human trafficking.  The Uniform Act provides the three components necessary for ending human trafficking:  (1) comprehensive criminal provisions which focus on criminalizing specific conduct and which sets out penalties for that conduct; (2) provisions for victim services which create protections for victims of human trafficking; and (3) the promotion of coordinated state activities to educate the public and develop a system of victim services.

When enacted in the states, this comprehensive new law will enable federal, state and local agencies to better identify victims, provide needed services, and facilitate prosecution.

The Uniform Act on the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking provides the states with a comprehensive road map for significant improvements in states’ efforts to combat human trafficking.  Further information on the UAPRHT can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org

The drafting committee on the Uniform Act on the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking was chaired by Steve Wilborn of Shelbyville, Kentucky; the Vice-Chair was Anita Ramasastry of Seattle, Washington.  Other committee members included:  Stephen Y. Chow, Boston, Massachusetts; Sue Ann Derr, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Norman L. Greene, New York, New York; H. Lane Kneedler, Richmond, Virginia; Esson McKenzie Miller, Jr., Richmond, Virginia; Maria del Mar Ortiz-Rivera, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Robert J. Tennessen, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nora Winkelman, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Susan Deller Ross of Washington, DC, served as the committee’s reporter, and Joseph Colquitt of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, served as the committee’s associate reporter.

The ULC, now in its 122nd year, comprises more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws that are designed to solve problems common to all the states.

After receiving the ULC’s seal of approval, a uniform act is officially promulgated for consideration by the states, and legislatures are urged to adopt it.  Since its inception in 1892, the ULC has been responsible for more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Partnership Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.