I am pleased to announce that A.1030, legislation I authored, was passed by the New York State Assembly on Monday and will now be sent to the New York State Senate. The bill would exempt victims of sex trafficking from providing a DNA sample to be included in the State’s DNA criminal offender database.
New York State has been on the forefront in recognizing that commercially sexually exploited individuals are victims of human trafficking and should not be treated as criminals. I am one of the leading advocates to end human trafficking and have authored several pieces of legislation, including the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, to hold traffickers and buyers accountable and get help to trafficking victims who are trapped in the vicious cycle of human trafficking.
This legislation will exclude from the definition of a designated offender a person convicted of prostitution or loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or a person whose participation in an offense the court determines was a result of having been a sex trafficking victim under New York or federal law. By making clear that these persons are not designated offenders, the victims will not be required to provide upon conviction a DNA sample that would be included in the state DNA identification database.
These individuals are victims, forced into a life of exploitation and abuse. They have come into our criminal justice system by virtue of their enslavement at the hands of their traffickers. Their basic human rights have already been violated by their traffickers; we cannot compound the further violation of their rights by requiring a DNA sample.
The bill is sponsored by Andrew Lanza in the Senate.