Earlier this year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a new human trafficking law, Public Act No. 16-71 -- the first of its kind in the United States. The law aims to give the police and prosecutors stronger tools to go after hotels and motels where both child and adult victims of human trafficking are often recovered, to deter traffickers and those buying illegal sex and labor from children and adults, and to raise awareness of human trafficking for those most likely to encounter a victim.
The creation and passage of this law resulted from a collaborative process with input from a variety of stakeholders throughout Connecticut. At the center of it all was Connecticut’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Council, a diverse group whose members come from State agencies and the public sector. TIP is committed to preventing and addressing human trafficking. Driving this process was the council’s desire to create a law that would lessen the prevalence of sex and labor trafficking in hotels and motels. Council members knew that, if they wanted to be successful, they would have to acknowledge that when it comes to preventing trafficking in hotels and motels there are two sides to the same coin -- establishments that don't realize what human trafficking is or that it takes place on their property, and those who most certainly know about human trafficking and reap a financial benefit from allowing it to take place.