Position Statement – 2022
Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) supports Senate Bill S.736, a bill relating to employee human trafficking recognition training, establishing a standardized trafficking recognition training program for private transportation services.
This bill amends the Social Services Law by adding a new section 483-gg, stating that any private transportation service, including trains, motorbus charters, and ferry passenger service, will be required to train all customer-facing employees to undergo a human-trafficking recognition training program established by Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in conjunction with Department of Labor and the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. “Customer-facing employee” includes any employee whose job involves interacting or communicating directly with customers.
According to the Polaris Project, an agency dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking, traffickers typically recruit victims from bus and train stations and utilize transportation systems to both bring new victims to their trafficking operations as well as transport current victims to different places where the victims will continue to be exploited. As New York is a major hub for intrastate, interstate, and global transit, it is critical that employees working in the transportation industry become intimately familiar with the signs of a trafficker and a trafficked victim. Enacting this bill will ensure that more individuals interacting with potential exploiters and victims will recognize the signs and alert the proper agencies. Additionally, with more employees familiarized with the signs of trafficking, the traffickers and exploiters will be discouraged from operating their systems within the borders of New York.