Here is my testimony in “qualified” favor of HB 7309 – “An Act Concerning Human Trafficking.”And a quote from the Judiciary Committee’s Joint Favorable Report, “Mr. Bechard is the author of ‘The Berlin Turnpike: a True Story of Human Trafficking in America,’ which details a precedent –setting federal human trafficking trial that took place here in Hartford over 10 years ago. He conducts extensive human trafficking trainings for law enforcement across CT and for first responders. By doing all these trainings he has come to realize we all fall short in providing real-world assistance to the victims of this crime. Definitely agrees the Commissioner of Education or their designee should be added to the Trafficking in Persons Council as well as an adult victim of human trafficking. ( Adult victim of Human Trafficking member addressed in substitute language.) He believes the training for those dealing with victims of human trafficking should be mandatory and developing mental health, substance abuse programs for individuals identified as victims of trafficking and those arrested for prostitution is crucial for saving lives in CT. Creating awareness with posters and signs in certain businesses in which victims are most likely to see them and use the information to get help, currently none of the 30 plus “Adult Dance Clubs” strip joints in CT have these signs and are not aware of the signage requirement. He would strongly urge additional language that takes into account the reality of how this crime against young people takes place online including commercial sexual acts or performances by a minor whether or not the person paying a fee for the sex act is in physical contract or the same physical location with the minor. It is time we face the stark realities of forced and exploited labor in the supply chains of goods we purchase. A different crime than commercial sexual exploitation, all of us are complicit in slave labor on a daily basis.”

 

Raymond Bechard
Raymond Bechard

Raymond Bechard is an Author, Producer and Human Rights Advocate. For over 25 years he has worked to provide justice, tolerance and equality to people around the world.

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