Hayward, California (EastBayDaily) — Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) is encouraging California voters to support Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act.
“Prop. 35 raises awareness about the crisis of child trafficking in California, and gives voters the opportunity to take a stand against those who abuse and exploit children for financial gain,” stated Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. “This is a critical human rights issue, and we need our laws to reflect our values. Prop. 35 will provide for critically-needed, stronger penalties and more law enforcement support in this horrific industry.”
The United States Department of Justice reports that upwards of 300,000 American children are at risk of commercial trafficking exploitation, with most of the children sold into slavery being between the ages of 12 to 14 years old. The FBI states that three of the highest child trafficking areas in the nation are in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Yet, California stands as one of the states with the fewest protections for victims of human trafficking.
Prop. 35 will increase criminal penalties for trafficking of minors, from the current three to eight years in prison to sentences of five years to life. It will require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders, and require criminal fines from convicted traffickers to pay for services to help victims.
In addition, the Act will mandate training for law enforcement on human trafficking. California voters will decide on the initiative in the November 6, 2012 election.
Prop. 35 is being sponsored by California Against Slavery, a non-partisan, grassroots human rights organization dedicated to ending human trafficking, and the Safer California Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting efforts to protect Californians from all forms of criminal exploitation.
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi serves the 18th Assembly District, which includes San Leandro, Hayward, Dublin, most of Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and a portion of Oakland, as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Sunol.