WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today issued the following statement applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage this week of eight bills to combat human trafficking.
“Human sex trafficking is a $9.8 billion illicit industry, which is especially prevalent in Ohio, as Toledo has some of the highest human trafficking rates in the country and more than 1,000 people are victims of sex trafficking in the state each year,” said Latta. “This week, I was proud to join my colleagues in passing eight pieces of legislation that will help combat this growing epidemic, save lives and give hope to human trafficking victims around the world. I will also continue to work to defend our most vulnerable citizens, so we may end this horrific exploitation and abuse once and for all.”
H.R. 5111, to improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking, would update federal law to make clear that child prostitution is a form of child sex trafficking and should be reported to the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
H.R. 5081, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act, would improve practices within state child welfare systems to identify and document sex trafficking victims.
H.R. 5076, the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act, would improve support provided specifically to runaway and homeless youth who are victims of sex trafficking.
H.R. 4980, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, includes numerous provisions that would encourage states to reduce the incidence of sex trafficking among youth in foster care, empower and promote normalcy for foster youth, quickly move more children from foster care into adoptive homes or the homes of relatives, and increase the amount of child support provided to families in which one parent is outside of the United States.
H.R. 5135, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act, would direct the U.S. State Department’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking to conduct a review and issue a report on the best strategies for preventing children from becoming victims of trafficking.
H.R. 5116, the Human Trafficking Detection Act, would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement a program that would train Department of Homeland Security personnel how to effectively deter, detect, disrupt and prevent human trafficking during the course of their primary roles and responsibilities.
H.R. 4449, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, would require certain State Department personnel to undergo training to identify victims of human trafficking around the world.
H.R 2283, the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, would elevate the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to a Bureau within the State Department to better prioritize the fight against human trafficking without increasing the size of the federal government.