URGENT: Senate to Consider Sex Trafficking Legislation

November 17, 2003

Congress is prepared to recess for the year on or before November 27. Please email or call your Senators at 800.270-0309 to urge that the Senate schedule an immediate vote to support the House-passed bill (HR 2620) designed to curb international sex trafficking. This issue is too important to be delayed!

Each year, more than one million children are “trafficked” from one country to another and forced into the sex trade or to serve as child soldiers. On November 5, 2003, the House of Representatives passed HR 2620, a bill to curb trafficking in humans. The bill would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to provide continued support for a Department of State program dedicated to fighting trafficking and related issues. The annual trafficking report issued by State puts nations that have serious trafficking problems on notice. The report and its rating system help to shape a strong U.S. foreign policy as it relates to trafficking and sexual abuse of children.

HR 2620 would strengthen the trafficking laws and offer new mechanisms intended to mitigate the suffering of victims while simultaneously going after those who traffic and countries that harbor traffickers. The new provisions would: 1) call for programs that assist trafficking victims and their families, 2) offer new strategies for prevention, including programs designed to deter and eliminate “sex tourism,” and 3) target traffickers seeking to force women and children into prostitution through illegal transfer across international borders. Further, the bill would extend refugee protections, normally reserved for victims, to parents or their siblings. Too often, victims are resettled through refugee programs separate from their families.

General Convention 2000 addressed the “domestic and international problem of trafficking in women, girls, and boys . . . and support[s] non-violent efforts to stop this abuse, to protect the victims, and prosecute the perpetrators of this injustice.” The problem of trafficking in persons continues to pose a serious international humanitarian crisis.

To send a letter to your legislators and show your support >CLICK HERE<