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David C.
Democrat RI 1

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  • Human Trafficking Prevention Act

    by Representative David N. Cicilline

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in strong support of H.R. 357, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act.

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentleman from New York (Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney), for introducing this important piece of legislation.

    Mr. Speaker, human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Its victims are robbed of both their freedom and dignity. Human trafficking violates the founding principles of the United States--life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--and humanity's very fundamental principle of respect.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, almost every nation in the world is affected by trafficking. There are at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination affected by human trafficking, totaling over 510 trafficking flows around the world.

    Human trafficking victims often pay to be illegally transported into various countries, only to find themselves at the mercy of their captors, deprived of their freedom. They are forced into various forms of servitude to repay their debts. Frighteningly, the U.N. also reports that 1 in 3 known victims [[Page H547]] of human trafficking is a child. In some areas of the world, such as Africa and the Middle East, children constitute 62 percent of their human trafficking incidents. Women and girls account for 70 percent of trafficking victims worldwide, and men make up over 60 percent of trafficking incidents for forced labor. Human trafficking victimizes people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.

    {time} 1615 Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act which is designed to ensure that representatives of our government recognize incidents of human trafficking when they see it.

    H.R. 357 would expand Federal training requirements for State Department personnel on identifying and preventing human trafficking. This training includes specific training in persons, briefings for all Ambassadors and deputy chiefs of mission before such individuals depart for their post.

    This bill would also require that annual reminders be sent to appropriate diplomatic personnel about the key problems, threats, methods, and warning signs of trafficking in persons at their respective Embassy and consular post.

    Mr. Speaker, this legislation will better prepare our Nation's public servants to quickly identify incidents of human trafficking and take swift action as they serve abroad. We passed the same bill last year, and I urge my colleagues to do so again.

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