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House Passes Human Trafficking Bills

This week, the House passed several bills to address human trafficking: a bill to improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking (H.R. 5111), the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R. 5081), the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act(H.R. 5076), the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980), the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act (H.R. 5135), the Human Trafficking Detection Act (H.R. 5116), the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 4449), and the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 2283).

H.R. 5111

The House approved the bill, sponsored by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), by a a vote of 409-0 on July 24. The legislation would amend the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to provide internet users and service providers an effective means of reporting internet-related child sexual exploitation.

H.R. 5081

On July 25, the House approved, 399-0, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act, sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). The legislation would amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (P.L. 93-247) to enable state child protection services to improve the identification and assessment of child sex trafficking victims.

H.R. 5076

On July 23, the House approved, by voice vote, the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV). The measure would amend the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (P.L. 110-378) to increase knowledge about, and services for, runaway and homeless youth who are victims of trafficking. The bill would provide grants to states, localities, and organizations for research and service projects regarding runaway and homeless youth.

H.R. 4980

The House also approved the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), by voice vote, on July 23. The legislation would strengthen prevention efforts regarding sex trafficking of children in foster care. The bill also would extend and improve adoption incentives and improve international child support recovery.

H.R. 5135

Approved by voice vote on July 23, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act, sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), would direct the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking to identify strategies to deter individuals from committing trafficking offenses and prevent children from becoming trafficking victims. The bill also would amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-386) to include programs that provide housing to trafficking victims.

H.R. 5116

The House passed, by voice vote, the Human Trafficking Detection Act, sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), on July 23. The bill would direct the secretary of Homeland Security to implement a program to train Department of Homeland Security personnel in the detection, disruption, and prevention of human trafficking.

H.R. 4449

On July 23, the House approved, by voice vote, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, sponsored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY). The bill would provide for the expansion of human trafficking prevention training that federal government personnel would be required to undergo. The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the bill on May 29 (see The Source, 5/30/14).

H.R. 2283

Also on July 23, the House passed, by voice vote, the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). The legislation “expresses the sense of Congress that the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking of the Department of State will be more effective in carrying out duties mandated by Congress in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and can do so without an increase in either personnel or budget.” The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the bill on June 26 (see The Source, 6/27/14).

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