- 17th District
- Daylin’s Issues
Human Trafficking Hotline Bill Unanimously Passes House of Representatives
On October 3, 2012
HARRISBURG, October 3, 2012 – Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) announced that a companion bill to his human trafficking hotline bill, Senate Bill 338, yesterday unanimously passed a House of Representatives vote.
“I am thrilled that the human trafficking hotline bill was approved by the House of Representatives, and I am eager for this important legislation to pass the Senate and then be signed into law,” Leach said. “I have been championing this issue for more than two years and I am thankful that another lawmaker recognized the importance of this legislation and joined our fight. It has been a long process bringing this idea to fruition, but I am happy to say that with this vote, the legislature has taken the first step in saving hundreds of thousands of lives and fighting back against this horrible crime.”
House Bill 235, introduced by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), and Leach’s Senate Bill 338 would require the Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number to be placed prominently in certain establishments and locations. The bill earned support from Polaris Project, Women’s Way, the Wayne Foundation, Covenant House PA, the Tavern Association, the Tourism & Lodging Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association and dozens of state lawmakers.
Under the legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services funds the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline — a resource for the community to report suspicious activity that may be trafficking-related. The hotline is free to call, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This resource saves lives and comes at no cost to the Commonwealth or its citizens.
Polaris Project’s Policy Counsel James Dold said, “The Pennsylvania legislature has taken a crucial step toward ending human trafficking with yesterday’s passage of H.B. 235. This legislation will make it easier for community members to report tips about suspected human trafficking situations and for victims to call the hotline number to access services or law enforcement. Similar legislation in other states has helped save lives. We now hope that the Pennsylvania Senate will act with the same sense of urgency and pass this important piece of legislation.”
Leach said that sexual exploitation is the most lucrative sector of the trafficking industry, involving anything from prostitution to the commercial sexual abuse of kids. An estimated 200,000 American children are at risk of trafficking each year. He added that he hopes this legislation will help those thousands of people who are victims of human trafficking by bringing a higher awareness of this crime to the public.
“The hotline bill is an easy way to let people know that this crime is actually happening in their communities and that they can help stop it by simply picking up their phones. By posting these signs in their establishments, businesses are literally saving lives,” Leach said.