TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly passed a bill (A5085), sponsored by Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, to expunge records of human trafficking victims who were convicted of certain crimes.
New Jersey’s Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act allows a human trafficking victim to vacate and expunge convictions and records for prostitution and similar offenses. This bill will amend that law to also include other convictions while a victim of human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a major problem in New Jersey given our location, proximity to major cities and a robust transportation network,” said DePhillips (R-Bergen). “We can’t turn a blind eye to the victims of human trafficking in this state. They deserve to move on with life and not be haunted by their past. This bill will allow them to do just that.”
Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. Victims include men, women and children who are exploited for sexual activity and forced labor. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 224 cases reported in New Jersey in 2018. The New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force reports there are between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United State per year.