August 18, 2014 (Sacramento)—A measure which would permit law enforcement to prosecute human trafficking as a civil nuisance as well as a crime and direct recovered penalties to the victims of these crimes was on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown on a 76-0 vote.
Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) introduced the legislation, AB 2212, earlier this year.
“I am gratified that this new tool to fight human trafficking is now on its way to the governor,” Block said. “Few crimes are more heinous than the enslavement of children and adults,” Block said. “Our law enforcement personnel need all the tools we can provide to battle these crimes and to assist victims.”
AB 2212 adds human trafficking to the list of per se nuisances such gambling, lewdness and prostitution to evict tenants and penalize property owners who knowingly allow these activities on their grounds. A per se nuisance is an activity or an act for which an injury to the public is presumed.
Block said the CIA estimates that approximately 15,000 to 17,500 men, women and children are brought into the U.S. for trafficking every year. Block who represents the San Diego region said the problem is particularly acute in major port cities such San Diego and Los Angeles.
“AB 2212 also helps victims. Penalties recovered from prosecution will be used to help fund victim services which are not adequately supported,” Block said.
Block’s measure is sponsored by the San Diego and Los Angeles City Attorneys and supported by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and the Junior Leagues of California.