Senate passes bill to combat human trafficking
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill to aid in the fight against human trafficking on the night of September 11.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017, written by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and cosponsored by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), would renew existing programs that make federal resources available to human trafficking survivors and create new prevention, prosecution, and collaboration initiatives.
“We need a united approach to taking down human traffickers and bringing victims the justice they deserve. This bill takes meaningful steps to shed light on this terrible abuse of human rights by improving awareness and streamlining federal law enforcement’s response,” Grassley said.
“Sex trafficking is one of the most reprehensible crimes, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act builds on our bipartisan efforts to combat trafficking and help victims. The key to reducing demand is addressing the exploitation of young girls on the Internet. The bill provides the Justice Department with civil injunction authority to get court orders forcing traffickers to remove their ads for underage girls,” Feinstein said.
The bill promotes the screening of human trafficking victims by ensuring school resource officers and other school personnel receive training on how to identify and respond to victims.
It also calls for advanced training of federal investigators who pursue human traffickers.
The legislation will also improve coordination among federal agencies through consolidation of federal agency data reporting at the FBI and by requiring the Homeland Security Department to submit annual assessments of the human trafficking investigations.
A fact sheet of the bill can be found
Along with Grassley and Feinstein, the bill is cosponsored by John Cornyn (R-Texas) Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).