Intersection of the Opioid Epidemic and Sex Trafficking
The people of Jefferson County, New York, are deeply concerned about the intersection of the opioid epidemic and sex trafficking. Women and some men are coerced by traffickers by withholding drugs, food, and health care and by brutalizing them into compliance. Recently, victim advocates shared personal experiences with New York State Senator Patty Ritchie who was deeply moved by the tales of horror.
In May 2017, NYS Senator Hamilton introduced Bill 5955 which would require members of the lodging industry to provide training to all employees to recognize signs of trafficking. Without appropriate awareness training for all lodging industry staff, local hotels and motels will remain safe havens for traffickers to conduct their illegal and immoral business.
The bill has been languishing in the Consumer Protection Committee. It is imperative for the safety and welfare of the victims of sex trafficking that the bill be passed and signed into law without further delay.