Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act campaign announced today that it has submitted more than 865,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.   All kudos to them and to the many, many folks and organizations that endorsed the campaign -- California Peace Officers; advocates for the protection of children, including Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation; and victims who survived sexual exploitation when they were children.

It’s important that voters back this initiative, given that three cities in California -- San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego -- are recognized by the FBI as high density child sex trafficking areas. A national study by a victims’ right group gave California an “F” grade for its weak laws dealing with child sex trafficking.

Read what Dellena Hoyer, a human trafficking survivor has to say: “I was trafficked at the age of 12 on the streets of Sacramento, just blocks from the State Capitol. I used to wonder – why didn’t anyone come up to me, and ask what a little girl was doing out on the streets at one o'clock in the morning? No one should have to endure what I went through. That’s why we must pass the CASE Act – to fight back against human trafficking in California.”

So what does the CASE Act do? Among other things, it increases prison terms for human traffickers; requires convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders; requires criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims; requires registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.

“By requiring sex offenders to provide information to the authorities about their online accounts we can make the internet a much safer place for California’s children,” said Chris Kelly, former chief privacy officer at Facebook, and founder, Safer California Foundation, which spearheaded the initiative campaign with California Against Slavery.

For comprehensive information on the CASE Act, visit www.caseact.org.