FY 2024 Budget Included $2.3 Million That Was Recently Awarded to Human Trafficking Victim Service Providers
Legislation S.4263/A.3227, S.5527/A.3720, S.6213/A.4264, S.6214/A.4265, S.5827/A.4586, S.4267/A.4669 Relate to Posting Information Regarding Human Trafficking Victim Services in Transportation Hubs Across the State
Legislation S.7451/A.7360 Extends the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking for Four Years
Legislation S.395/A.5505 Directs the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking to Investigate Connections Between Trafficking and Social Media
Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, September 27, signed into law a legislative package that expands the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking in members and length of duty to ensure the work the task force does can continue uninhibited. The Governor also signed legislation that ensures transportation hubs across the state are displaying information that may be of use to victims of human trafficking, providing them information on services available. Additionally, Governor Hochul highlighted $2.3 million that was recently awarded to contractors that provide services to survivors and victims of human trafficking across the state.
“Human trafficking is a nightmare no one should have to experience - even one victim is too many,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud to sign this legislation to protect the thousands of individuals who fall victim to human trafficking, and I want thank my partners in the legislature for their work in getting these bills through to the finish line.”
Human Trafficking Services Awareness
To expand on New York State’s commitment to support and protect victims of trafficking, Legislation S.4263/A.3227 requires Port Authority airports to provide information that may be useful for human trafficking victims in lactation rooms. Legislation S.5527/A.3720 requires MTA facilities to post information that may be of use to victims of human trafficking. Legislation S.6213/A.4264 requires truck stops to post information that may be useful to victims of human trafficking in lactation rooms. Legislation S.6214/A.4265 requires commercial service airports to post information for human trafficking services in lactation rooms. Legislation S.5827/A.4586 requires service areas maintained and operated by the New York State Thruway Authority provide information regarding services available to human trafficking victims in lactation rooms. Legislation S.4267/A.4669 requires Port Authority bus terminals to provide information regarding services available to human trafficking victims in lactation rooms.
Expanding the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking
Legislation S.7451/A.7360 adds the New York Secretary of State to the members of the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. Currently, the State agency members of the task force are the commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, the commissioner of the Office of Mental Health, the commissioner of the Department of Labor, the commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services, the commissioner of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the director of the Office of Victim Services, the executive director of the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, and the superintendent of the New York State Police.
This legislation also extends the task force for an additional four years to ensure the work done by the task force to prevent, reduce and assist human trafficking survivors continues uninterrupted.
Legislation S.395/A.5505 directs the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking to investigate connections between social media and human trafficking.
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance operates the Response to Human Trafficking Program (RTHP), which supports service providers throughout the state to provide case management and services to confirmed victims of trafficking. Today, RHTP supports 11 service providers throughout New York State. Services are responsive to individual needs and goals, and can include emergency services such as shelter, transportation, food assistance and phone access, medical services, clothing, etc. Providers also work with trafficking survivors to identify and support longer-term goals, such as health care and mental health services, employment services, and transitional to longer-term housing.
Through RHTP, $2.3 Million has recently been awarded to the following providers statewide serving survivors of human trafficking:
Safe Horizon, Inc.
Sanctuary for Families
My Sister's Place, Inc.
Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island Inc.
Catholic Charities of Long Island
International Institute of Buffalo
Safe Inc of Schenectady
People Against Trafficking Humans Incorporated
Unity House of Troy Inc.
Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes Inc.
The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) works with law enforcement to ensure that all recruits receive human trafficking training as part of their basic training. In 2022, about 2,500 recruits received training on human trafficking as part of their basic course instruction, including training on how to make a referral for New York State confirmation. Since the beginning of 2023, DCJS, in consultation OTDA, has confirmed 240 trafficked persons in New York State, connecting them with essential services and resources. The state confirmed 249 trafficked persons in 2022, and 295 in 2021.
As of July 20, 2023, lodging facilities in New York State are required to provide training on identifying and reporting human trafficking to all staff who are likely to interact or come into contact with guests. DCJS has been in contact with important players in the hospitality industry—including Marriott, Hilton, and the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association—and has worked with our OTDA partners to draft appropriate state training materials.
The state Municipal Police Training Council, to which DCJS provides staff, was required by law to develop and issue a Human Trafficking Model Policy that law enforcement could use as a framework for their own policy. The policy was first adopted in 2016 and updated in 2021.