The likely opponent to Gov. Chris Christie (R) in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election this November has sponsored legislation that would designate January of each year as “Human Trafficking Prevention Month” in the state.
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen), a veteran lawmaker who presents herself as a champion for the poor and middle class, has joined with her colleague, Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D-Jersey City), to sponsor the legislation, which was introduced last month. The designation would work to end human trafficking, to promote ongoing education about the signs and consequences of human trafficking, and to encourage support for its victims throughout New Jersey and beyond.
Buono and Cunningham chose January as the designated month to bring awareness to the problem of human trafficking because it coincides with the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. January is also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness month.
“Human trafficking–such as sex and labor slavery–is an atrocious crime that occurs not just in the far reaches of the world, but throughout the United States and even in New Jersey,” said Buono. “Victims, disproportionally immigrants, the poor and destitute, children and women, are often held captive through psychological, emotional, and financial means.”
Buono continued, “In order to bring justice to these victims, we must first shed light onto the issue of human trafficking and educate the public on how they can stop these actions.”
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery–an act that was abolished in the United States nearly one hundred and fifty years ago–yet still occurring across the country today,” said Sen. Cunningham.
The Buono-Cunningham legislation comes as U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has denied that he engaged in sexual activity with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Menendez has called the charges “fallacious allegations.” The FBI recently raided the offices of Dr. Salomon Melgen in connection to allegations of Medicare fraud. Melgen provided his private plane for Menendez’s travel to the Dominican Republic.
In light of her recent legislation urging greater awareness of human trafficking, Breitbart News contacted Sen. Buono’s office several times for comment on the Menendez scandal. To date, her office has not responded.