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Member’s bill to tighten penalties for human trafficking – Greg Fleming

The Crimes (Increased Penalties for Slavery Offences) Amendment Bill, drawn today, will ensure penalties for domestic human trafficking cases are brought into line with similar offences, says National MP for Maungakiekie Greg Fleming.

“Many New Zealanders would be surprised to know there are smaller penalties for some forms of deplorable human trafficking offences than others,” says Mr Fleming.

“As it stands, section 98D of the Crimes Act, which deals with trafficking in persons, allows for a penalty of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $500,000. Section 98AA, which deals with the sexual exploitation, removal of body parts or engagement in forced labour of people under 18, only allows for penalties of up to 14 years. Section 98, which covers dealing in slaves, also allows for 14-year penalties.

“My bill aligns these penalties to recognise the severity of the crimes covered in sections 98 and 98AA. Amending this will achieve a more cohesive penalty regime as a step forward in New Zealand’s hard stance against human trafficking.

“I’d like to recognise the work of National MP Nicola Grigg in drafting this bill. It was originally the idea of Rolleston College students Kaylee Hill and Alex Prendergast, whose research identified this anomaly within the Crimes Act.

“This bill will modernise New Zealand’s approach to human trafficking and ensure instances of domestic trafficking are treated as seriously as international. I look forward to building support across other parties in the House.”

 

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