U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill to strengthen federal laws against child sex trafficking, a proposal that has broad bipartisan support and will be considered after members of Congress return from an August recess.
Earlier this week, the FBI announced the rescue of more than 100 sexually exploited children as a result of a nationwide sweep of sex traffickers. The FBI said the operation yielded 150 arrests, primarily of pimps — those who profit from the illegal enterprise.
Members of Congress say arresting and prosecuting pimps is not enough, that those who pay to have sex with children must also face federal penalties.
“We have a Trafficking Victims Protection Act that prosecutes the trafficker — the guy that brings those girls throughout the United States. But the consumer, the buyer, is not prosecuted on the federal level,” said Republican Congressman Ted Poe during a news conference at the Capitol.
The End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013 mandates that those who seek sex with children will be prosecuted under federal law, which comes into play when there is trafficking activity across more than one state.
Posts Tagged ‘tvpa’
On Thursday, the 112th Congress ended without passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This law—originally passed in 2000 and reauthorized by Congress unanimously three separate times—is our nation’s foundation for the fight against human trafficking at home and around the world. The bill could have passed at the close of the year through a process called “unanimous consent,” (in which representatives signal their support for a bill without a formal vote), but three senators placed anonymous “holds” on the bill, preventing it from moving forward.
We are saddened and disappointed that Congress did not prioritize the needs of those in bondage by passing this critical bill, compromising U.S. leadership in the fight against slavery even as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Despite this setback, we are hopeful: Every phone call, email, meeting, letter to the editor, and one-on-one conversation in support of the TVPRA you had last year made a difference. None of your effort was wasted, and we are tremendously grateful for your partnership and friendship in this fight.
Because of the support of people like you, anti-slavery advocates secured nearly 60 Senate co-sponsors on the TVPRA in 2012. During a time when Congress agreed on very little, you communicated that ending slavery is an issue that all Americans can agree on. Though the TVPRA must be reintroduced in the new Congress, your help in building such strong support for the bill last year gives us a strong foundation for 2013. We will work to see the bill passed early in this new year.
Yours in hope,
Director of Advocacy
For ways you can take action now, visit FreedomCommons.IJM.org.
In less than a week, Congress will break for its August recess, and all pending legislation will enter a holding pattern for the next month. One of the most important items remaining on the docket is the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
In a hearing last week, Senator John Kerry asserted: “In the end, none of us can escape our moral obligation to be a leader in the fight against this modern-day slavery. History teaches us that we are safest and stronger when… America takes the lead and we share the destiny of all people on this planet.” This legislation is a no-brainer for Congress. But when push comes to shove, the 112th Congress has demonstrated an uncanny ability to turn every piece of legislation into a zero-sum game of partisan tug-of-war. (A recent analysis shows that the 112th Congress is the least productive and most polarized in U.S. history.)
The reauthorization of TVPA should not wait until the eleventh hour. Not only does TVPA provide tangible, lifesaving resources for trafficking victims in the United States, it is also the linchpin of U.S. antitrafficking initiatives abroad. To show real leadership to combat human trafficking, Congress should vote to reauthorize the law without delay.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations
“Trafficking Victims Protection Act: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act is the United States’s most important tool in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The act has expired—placing critical anti-trafficking initiatives at risk, such as support to law enforcement and…