WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) released the following statement today after legislation she co-sponsored, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act passed the House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill would encourage collaboration between law enforcement, child welfare systems and juvenile justice courts; and reduce demand for sex trafficking.
“Trafficking is slavery, pure and simple. And as Abraham Lincoln once said ‘If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.’ But historically, the brunt of social stigma has fallen on the supply side: the women and children themselves. We need to crack down on the demand side and go after the criminals and abusers, which this bill does. I am proud to support this legislation and urge the Senate to move expeditiously so that it can become law.”
According to the FBI there are currently an estimated 200,000 American children potentially exploited and trafficked for sex annually. The majority are girls between the ages of 12 and 14.
On May 5, DeLauro held a press conference with LOVE146 and Joette Katz, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department on Children and Families, to highlight state and federal commitments to eliminating child trafficking. Love146 is a human rights organization that works to end child trafficking and exploitation.
Last October, DeLauro introduced a resolution committing Members of Congress in the fight against domestic trafficking. That resolution, declaring “Our Daughters Are Not For Sale,” currently has 84 cosponsors, from both sides of the aisle. It condemns child trafficking and sexual exploitation, and encourages law enforcement to help victims and end these practices for good.