California’s Governor Newsom has signed a groundbreaking bill into law enabling human trafficking survivors to receive lost income from California’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund (VCP). A first of its kind bill, AB 629 ensures that survivors will be empowered with resources to rebuild their lives.
“Cast applauds Governor Newsom for recognizing that human trafficking is an epidemic that needs to be addressed systemically to improve access to justice and support for survivors. With the passing of AB 629, California will set a precedent for other states to follow.”Cast CEO, Kay Buck.
The California Crime Victim Compensation Fund, administered by the California Victim Compensation Board, is a source of reimbursement for crime-related expenses to victims who suffer physical injury or the threat of physical injury as a result of violent crime. Under previous regulations, victims of human trafficking were not eligible to receive compensation for commercial exploitation and income loss as they are unable to provide formal evidence of employment. With the passing of AB629, human trafficking victims are now able to access crime victim compensation for lost income.
“We are thrilled that after seven years of advocacy, the state of California is placing human trafficking survivors on equal footing with other crime victims. This bill will directly impact survivors by providing them with direct support to rebuild their lives as well as acknowledgment of the financial crime committed against them.”Cast Senior Policy Advisor, Stephanie Richard.
Survivors of trafficking are often far from home and without any community support systems. With the significant wage loss associated with sex and labor trafficking in the United States, this is a right afforded to its survivors. Financial compensation is a huge factor in their ability to rebuild their lives and achieve self-sufficiency.
“The unique labor-oriented nature of human trafficking cause victims to be even more vulnerable to lost wages than victims of other violent crimes because they are being deprived of earnings during the commission of the horrific crime,” reveals Richard.
Cast is dedicated to enacting and implementing creative approaches to preventing human trafficking and best supporting those impacted at the local,l state and federal level through its California Legislative Collaborative on Human Trafficking (CLCHT) program. Led by Cast, the CLCHT is a forum for practitioners, experts, and those interested in human trafficking advocacy in California to come together to support anti-trafficking legislation and receive insight and guidance on policy advocacy. To find out more visit: www.castla.org/human-trafficking/policy/