Resolution of the Philadelphia Bar Association Supporting Legislation To Require the Posting of Information Relating to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline in Certain Establishments ("National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act")

WHEREAS, human trafficking is an umbrella term for activities that involve one person obtaining or holding another person in compelled service. Included under this umbrella are activities such as forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant workers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking. Actual transportation is not a component of the crime. (Source: 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report ("State Report"), U.S. Department of State, at pp. 7-8.)

WHEREAS, according to the State Report, the United States "is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, debt bondage, and forced prostitution." (Source: State Report at p. 338.)

WHEREAS, it is estimated that there are anywhere from 5,100 to 60,500 people trafficked into and within the U.S. each year, plus an estimated 100,000 American children who are subjected to forced prostitution. (Source: Polaris Project, 2011 Pennsylvania Advocates Brief, Human Trafficking Legislation, Updated 3/21/2011 ("Polaris Brief").)

WHEREAS, the victims of human trafficking in the United States include adults, minors, U.S. citizens, and foreign nationals, both documented and undocumented. (Source: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview.)

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is known as a "pass-through" state and a destination state for human trafficking. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are both prevalent in Pennsylvania, and traffickers utilize state and interstate roads to move victims along the Eastern seaboard as well as into Ohio. (Source: Polaris Brief.)

WHEREAS, sex trafficking often occurs in connection with street or indoor prostitution rings, commercial storefront massage parlors, and residential brothels. Victims are often advertised on the internet, and then placed in hotels/motels or truck stops for "customers." (Source: Polaris Brief.)

WHEREAS, labor trafficking often occurs in connection with domestic services, agricultural activities, and nail salons. (Sources: http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-traffickers; Polaris Brief.)

WHEREAS, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center ("NHTRC") is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is operated and implemented by Polaris Project. (Source: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/.)

WHEREAS, the NHTRC is a non-profit, non-governmental program designed to improve the national response to the problem of human trafficking in the United States. Included among its services is a national, toll-free hotline number for the human trafficking field in the United States (the "Hotline"). The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to answer calls. The NHTRC also provides a number of other services in the human trafficking field including, inter alia:

  • Reporting tips on human trafficking to law enforcement and social service providers;
  • Referring survivors of human trafficking to services such as emergency shelter and legal counsel;
  • Providing resources and information regarding human trafficking issues; and
  • Providing training and technical assistance to strengthen the response to human trafficking.

(Sources: http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/overview; http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do; http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/hotline/index.html.)

WHEREAS, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (currently House Bill No. 235, Printer's No. 187, introduced into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Representative Paul I. Clymer, and Senate Bill No. 338, Printer's No. 315, introduced into the Pennsylvania Senate by Senator Daylin Leach) would require the posting of the NHTRC Hotline in locations most likely to reach victims of human trafficking. These locations include: truck stops, bus stations, rest stops, certain lodging, massage parlors, strip clubs, and businesses with a liquor license.

WHEREAS, Maryland and New York have already enacted similar provisions; other states considering similar legislation are Alabama and Tennessee.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Philadelphia Bar Association supports and encourages enactment of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act or similar legislation, which would require the posting of the NHTRC Hotline in locations most likely to reach victims of human trafficking.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes and directs the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association to take such steps as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate this Resolution, including communication of its position to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the general public.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: April 28, 2011