The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a global problem that is happening in communities across New Jersey. The commercial sex industry targets children regardless of their gender. Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs when individuals buy, trade, or sell sexual acts with a child; and sex trafficking is "the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act... in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age."
Children become victims through interaction with predators. Traffickers target vulnerable children and lure them into prostitution and commercial pornography using psychological manipulation, drugs, and/or violence. 75% of all children who are trafficked were lured into sexual exploitation through Internet porn. There is an inseparable link between pornography and human trafficking. Children have been kidnapped, abused, drugged, threatened and coerced into doing porn, which is by definition, sex trafficking.
On Monday, January 23rd, the Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act was proposed in both the New Jersey Senate and Assembly. It was proposed in the Senate (S-2928) by Senator Steve Oroho, and in the Assembly (A-4503) sponsors include Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz, Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin.
This legislation requires Internet-connected devices to have digital blocking capability that can only be removed by an adult and would make it unlawful "to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, lease, or distribute a product" that makes pornographic content accessible "unless the product contains digital blocking capability that renders" certain obscene material "inaccessible" and ensures that "all child pornography and revenge pornography is inaccessible on the product... prohibits the product from accessing any hub that facilitates prostitution; and render websites that are known to facilitate human trafficking... inaccessible."
Any digital blocking capability could be disabled by an adult consumer by (1) requesting same in writing, (2) presenting identification to verify age, (3) acknowledges receiving a written warning regarding the potential danger of deactivating the digital blocking capability, and (4) paying a one-time $20 digital access fee.
The fee will be collected by the manufacturer or distributor and then forwarded to the New Jersey State Treasurer. Proceeds will fund the operations of the Commission on Human Trafficking and the Attorney General's office. The legislation allows the manufacturer or distributor to pay the $20 opt-out fee instead of the consumer.
The legislation also requires manufacturers and distributors to establish a reporting mechanism -- a website or a call center -- to allow consumers to report unblocked obscene material or blocked material that is not obscene.
The legislation was fashioned using directives from the United States Supreme Court regarding the use of digital blocking or filters. Great attention was paid to the arguments of the ACLU and others when fashioning this legislation.
The Human Trafficking Prevention Act is a nationwide, bipartisan effort to cut-off the grooming and trafficking of children into prostitution through commercial, for-profit pornography. New Jersey Senator Steve Oroho gave the legislation the name it is known by and it is being proposed in each of the 50 states. For a full list of the legislation and its sponsors in each state, go to this website:
“Sexually exploiting children causes long term, if not lifelong damage and confusion," Said Rev. Greg Quinlan of the Center for Garden Sate Families.
For more information on how to organize to support the Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act in New Jersey, visit the Center for Garden State Families at http://www.gardenstatefamilies.org/.