CONGRESSWOMAN WAGNER AND POE MOVE TO PROTECT VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING

Jun 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2803, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act. The bill is a companion to legislation filed today in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

The legislation reauthorizes programs established and modified under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.  

“In order to combat human trafficking, we need to get serious about equipping our health care providers, judges, and law enforcement officials with the tools they need to effectively identify and investigate cases,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “The Abolish Human Trafficking Act reauthorizes important victim services and allows law enforcement to better address organized human trafficking. Together, we can educate stakeholders on the realities of the commercial sex industry and break the cycle of sexual exploitation in America.”

“Congress must take a stand for victims of sex trafficking by reauthorizing these important programs that provide support to human trafficking victims,” said Congressman Poe. “Our goal is to break the cycle of exploitation while restoring the lives of these innocent women and children. Our law enforcement must have the proper tools to prevent dastardly criminals from exploiting others, whether they be the buyer or seller. Modern day slavery has no place in America.” 

The Abolish Human Trafficking Act is a continuation of the work done with Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act co-sponsored by Congresswoman Wagner and signed into law in 2015. 

Specifically, The Abolish Human Trafficking Act:

  • Reauthorizes the DOJ Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund which is financed through fines on convicted human traffickers and sexual predators.
  • Requires mandatory restitution for victims of commercial sexual exploitation offenses.
  • Enhances statutory maximum penalties for several human trafficking offenses.
  • Gives law enforcement additional tools to target criminal street gangs involved in organized human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • Establishes Human Trafficking Coordinators at every US Attorney’s office as well as a Human Trafficking Coordinator at the DOJ.
  • Mandates regular reporting on human trafficking crimes. 

Permanently authorizes the Human Trafficking Advisory Council.