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Senate Committee Passes Human Trafficking, Sexual Violence Measures

On November 10, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed, by unanimous consent, several bills, including the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 515) and a resolution condemning the ongoing sexual violence against women and children from Yezidi, Christian, Shabak, Turkmen, and other religious communities by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants and urging the prosecution of the perpetrators and those complicit in these crimes (S. Res. 310).

H.R. 515

Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), this measure would create the Angel Watch Center within the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The center would receive, maintain, and archive information on international travel by registered child sex offenders.

The legislation would require the center to consult with nongovernmental organizations, foreign governments, and Internet service and software providers. The bill also would add sex tourism to the list of trafficking crimes the State Department uses to determine countries’ rankings on the annual Watch List.

The House passed its version of the bill on January 26 (see The Source, 1/30/15).

S.Res. 310

Sponsored by Rep. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the legislation finds that “enslavement and sexual violence against women is a widespread practice among ISIS militants” and that “women and girls as young as five years old are systematically abducted, transported, categorized according to physical traits and perceived value, and traded among ISIS militants or sold for as little as $10.”

The measure denounces the ongoing sexual violence against women and children from Yezidi, Christian, Shabak, Turkmen, and other religious communities. The resolution also calls on the attorney general, the government of Iraq, and other foreign governments to identify, investigate, and prosecute perpetrators of these crimes.

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