Planning & Zoning Board approves ordinance for measures to ensure human trafficking awareness

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 0 Comments

The Miami Lakes Planning and Zoning Board last week approved an ordinance to amend the town’s land development code to post human trafficking awareness signs in commercial areas, hotels, apartment buildings and parks and recreation centers in the town.
The measure is to help law enforcement crack down on Human Trafficking which has become a growing problem in Florida.
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker.
Many of the victims are teenagers, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
According to Miami Lakes town attorney Lorenzo Coibella, a human trafficking ring was operating in the town several years ago and was shut down following a federal investigation which resulted in multiple arrests and saved many of the victims from further exploitation.
Miami Lakes’ new ordinance calls for human trafficking awareness signs to be placed around commercial areas, hotels, motels, non-transient apartments, transient apartments, night clubs, massage pallors, and parks and recreation facilities.
All signs will be printed in English and Spanish.
The awareness signs will be placed where they can be easily seen by business employees, residents and visitors, and they are urged to report any signs of human trafficking.
The town’s Code Compliance department, in conjunction with the police, will enforce the provisions of the new code and upon conviction of such offense violators will be punished with a fine not to exceed $500.
A continued violation for each day shall be considered a separate offense, the ordinance says.
Human trafficking should be reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888, or text INFO or HELP to 233-733, or call the local police.

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