In a significant move towards justice and protection, Governor Gavin Newsom, alongside Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, State Senators Shannon Grove and Anna Caballero, survivors, and advocates, recently signed SB 14 into law. This momentous legislation strengthens penalties for human trafficking of minors in California, reaffirming the state's commitment to safeguarding the vulnerable.
Understanding SB 14:
SB 14, spearheaded by State Senator Shannon Grove, designates human trafficking of a minor for purposes of a commercial sex act as a serious felony. This includes categorization under the state's "Three Strikes" law, signaling a robust stance against offenders. The law also imposes harsher penalties and sentencing enhancements for individuals convicted of this heinous crime.
The full text of the bill and additional details can be found here.
Voices Behind the Law
Governor Gavin Newsom:
"Human trafficking is a sick crime. With this new law, California is going further to protect kids. I'm grateful for the leadership of Senator Grove, Speaker Rivas, and Pro Tem Atkins in spearheading this bipartisan effort to make our communities and children safer."
Jennifer Siebel Newsom:
"The trafficking of young women and girls is a heinous crime with far too many victims. I've seen the pain survivors carry for a lifetime and having recently visited the infamous Figueroa sex trafficking corridor, I've witnessed the devastating impacts of these crimes - not just on girls and young women - but on entire communities when trafficking persists. That's why I am especially grateful to Senator Grove for her assiduousness in combating human trafficking and helping to ensure California is a safer place for women and children."
Senator Shannon Grove:
"I want to thank the Governor for signing SB14. Today is a huge victory for California's children and the survivors of sex trafficking who have long fought for justice. With the passage of this bill, we are sending a clear message to child traffickers - we intend to put you out of business and behind bars where you belong."
Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins:
"Strengthening our law to better protect minors from sex trafficking is not only legislatively the right thing to do, it is morally the right thing to do. I appreciate my colleague and friend, Senator Shannon Grove, for her fierce dedication to this bill and to victims and survivors, as well as the leadership of Governor Newsom and Speaker Rivas on this effort."
Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas:
"California's leaders are united against human trafficking and ensuring that victims are not themselves criminalized. SB 14 reinforces this commitment. I want to recognize and thank my Assembly colleagues, who supported this bill with an 80-0 vote. And I applaud the author and the Governor for their leadership and commitment on this critical issue."
A Collective Stand Against Trafficking
Human sex trafficking is a heinous crime that can have numerous long-lasting, harmful impacts on victims, survivors, and their families. SB 14, which passed the state Assembly and Senate unanimously, is a bipartisan measure co-authored by 64 members of the Legislature. The legislation is supported by over a hundred local, national and international organizations, including a coalition of human trafficking survivors and advocates.
As California takes this decisive step to crack down on the sex trafficking of minors, the state sends a powerful message to offenders. SB 14 is not just a law; it's a testament to the resilience of survivors, the dedication of advocates, and the commitment of California's leadership to protect its most vulnerable citizens. This legislative move marks a pivotal moment in the fight against human trafficking, reinforcing the importance of collaborative efforts to create a safer and more just society for all.
A continuous fight
Since 2019, California has taken a comprehensive approach to combat human trafficking, with a total investment of $280.1 million to take down traffickers and support victims and survivors. The state has provided substantial funding to expand support programs for human trafficking survivors and Family Justice Centers — creating a one-stop facility for victims and their families to access various services — and allocated $25 million for the prevention, intervention, and services for minor victims of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2022, California funded Human Trafficking Task Forces at the California Department of Justice to address statewide human trafficking, resulting in numerous arrests and assistance to victims. The California Highway Patrol’s interdiction efforts on task forces and operations have led to numerous arrests of traffickers.
For more information on Human Trafficking, please visit https://www.globalhope365.org/human-trafficking