We Must Pursue Justice for Human Trafficking Victims
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today spoke out on the House floor in support of H.R. 3530, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, as part of a week-long effort in Congress to address the global threat of human trafficking. Rep. Hultgren plans to introduce legislation this week targeting government-sanctioned prostitution as a major factor contributing to the prevalence of sex slavery, and has made combating human trafficking a priority in Washington as a member of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus and the Congressional Human Trafficking Task Force, formed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Following are Rep. Hultgren’s prepared remarks:
I rise today in support of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, H.R. 3530, and commend my colleague Rep. Ted Poe for introducing this critical legislation.
I am a proud cosponsor of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act because it represents an all-encompassing approach to combating the scourge of human trafficking.
It amends the federal criminal code to impose penalties for crimes involving trafficking, it preemptively provides for deterrence by reallocating existing grants for victims’ support, and it affords additional enforcement and prosecution mechanisms for authorities fighting against traffickers.
Nearly 150 years ago, Congress ratified the 13th Amendment, setting in stone these timeless words, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Today human trafficking is modern-day slavery.
It is a global crisis that victimizes an estimated 21 million children, men and women worldwide.
Yet global doesn’t just mean overseas—human trafficking remains prevalent here in the United States, in our cities and communities.
Our country is the second-highest destination for women trafficked worldwide. An estimated 100,000 children are trafficked here every year.
In my home state of Illinois, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center estimates that 25,000 women and girls are exploited by sex trafficking every year.
And this number continues to grow.
As a member of the Congressional Human Trafficking Task Force, we are working to coordinate the efforts of the congressional leadership and international anti-trafficking groups to punish perpetrators, rescue and bring hope to victims and assist nations in their fight against the global epidemic of trafficking in human beings.
Human trafficking targets the most vulnerable in society. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act reflects a comprehensive effort to strengthen opposition against culprits and offer hope to victims.
I support this bill and urge its passage.