ECPAT USA applauds the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission upon its release of anti-sex trafficking video that is now mandatory viewing for all cabbies.
The nine-minute video, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, explains that it is illegal to refuse a fare based upon a person’s appearance or gender. “On one hand we want to make sure the taxi drivers don’t become part of criminal activity, on the other hand it’s not their job to be doing profiling of any kind and you don’t want them discriminating against people without good reason,” Commissioner David Yassky said.
The training video was created after the City Council approved a bill strengthening penalties against cabbies who knowingly work with sex traffickers. “Sex trafficking is a serious crime,” Yassky said. “Every taxi driver, every livery driver has got to be trained to make sure that they are not participating in sex trafficking.”
The bill, which targets drivers who assist sex traffickers by driving women to johns, imposes a $10,000 fine on drivers who are convicted of a felony related to sex trafficking. The cabbies would also lose their TLC licenses.
Some opponents of the bill had said they were worried it could make cabbies afraid to pick up passengers who are provocatively dressed. The video is designed to clarify the rules. All drivers are required to watch the video when getting or renewing a license.
The video is available here:
ECPAT USA congratulates the NY Taxi and Limusine Comission and the City Council for their determined action to combat human trafficking in New York.