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Wagner and Jeffries Introduce Legislation to Reduce Worldwide Sex Trafficking Demand

Sep 13, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) released the following statements after they introduced the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act, bipartisan legislation to reduce demand for sex trafficking worldwide.

“Combating sex trafficking requires an all-of-the-above approach that fights not just the pimps who sell trafficking victims, but also the buyers who choose to exploit victims. Criminalizing the purchase of commercial sex acts and ending illegal sex ‘tourism’ are key to reducing the demand for trafficking victims and eliminating the worldwide sex trafficking trade.” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-02)

“Sex trafficking is a heinous human rights violation that affects more than 4.5 million victims across the globe. The bipartisan Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act aims to prevent the global demand for commercial sex and sex tourism in order to reduce the number of trafficking victims. Rep. Wagner should be commended for her commitment in this regard.” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08)

“This bill recognizes that effectively combatting the demand for commercial sex is the only way we will ever make real progress in the fight to prevent and eliminate sex trafficking globally. If the purchase of commercial sex was eliminated, the entire 99 billion dollar per year sex trafficking industry would implode. Demand reduction is the key to preventing the scourge of this injustice to continue.”  Laila Mickelwait, Director of Abolition, Exodus Cry

“In 2006, when Shared Hope International released research on sex trafficking markets in four countries, including the Netherlands, the common element driving those markets was the demand for commercial sex. Over a dozen years later, demand continues to drive sex trafficking, and failing to address demand perpetuates the market for exploitation that ensnares so many victims of trafficking. The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act ensures that demand cannot be ignored if we are to comprehensively address human trafficking.” Congresswoman Linda Smith (1995-99), Founder and President, Shared Hope International

“Worldwide, the only way to prevent sex trafficking is to target the demand for prostitution. No country that normalizes or legalizes the sex trade should be Tier 1 in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. NCOSE is happy to endorse the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act to introduce reality into the State Department’s ratings system.” Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)

“We applaud the leadership of Rep. Ann Wagner and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for their sponsorship of the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act.  There is increasing recognition around the world, from governments to global survivor-led networks, that one of the most effective tools to combat sex trafficking and sexual exploitation is to end the demand for prostitution. Eliminating demand for the multi-billion dollar commercial sex market will dry up the immeasurable profits garnered from the pain and suffering traffickers extract from the most vulnerable among us. If we, as a nation, value human rights, this bill must pass.” Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

For more information on the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act, read the full one-pager here.