ALBANY, N.Y. June 6, 2007 - New York State United Teachers today applauded the governor and Legislature for approving one of the most comprehensive anti-human trafficking laws in the nation. The new law, signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer this afternoon, makes sex-trafficking and labor trafficking felony-level crimes and provides victims new access to state social services.
"Human trafficking is a heinous form of modern-day slavery that's happening right here in New York state, not just in Third World countries," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "This new law will hold traffickers accountable and help victims rebuild their lives."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin noted that delegates to NYSUT's annual convention in April unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the union to join the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition and to press for anti-human-trafficking legislation in New York. "Each year, thousands of people are brought into the United States - often through New York - to be used for forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude or sexual exploitation," Lubin said. "Tragically, many victims are children."
NYSUT has a longstanding commitment to support human and social justice issues. The New York State Labor-Religion Coalition and NYSUT's Civil and Human Rights Committee have been out front raising awareness on the issue.
NYSUT represents more than 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.