A picture of Representative David N. Cicilline
David C.
Democrat RI 1

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  • International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking

    by Representative David N. Cicilline

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 515, known as the International Megan's Law, and yield myself such time as I might consume.



    I would first like to commend my colleague, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, [[Page H545]] Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), for his leadership on human rights and anti-trafficking issues and for his hard work and the hard work of his staff on this bill, as well as Ranking Member Karen Bass of California.

    I also want to recognize the contributions of the Judiciary Committee to this legislation. I am pleased that the two committees, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary, were able to come together to work on this important piece of legislation.

    Mr. Speaker, around the world, as many as 27 million people are victims of human trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that among reported incidents of human trafficking, one in three is a child. Many sex offenders target children in regions with extreme poverty and low levels of law enforcement and prosecution. These repulsive acts violate our deepest moral values, and we have a responsibility to respond appropriately.

    The International Megan's Law would help prevent child sex offenders and traffickers from exploiting vulnerable children when they cross an international border. The bill would establish an Angel Watch center within Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security that would provide advance notice to foreign countries when a convicted child sex offender travels to that country. The bill also calls on the President to negotiate agreements with foreign governments that would encourage information sharing on known child sex offenders.

    Mr. Speaker, it is important to encourage governments around the world to devote their respective resources toward combating this issue. Protecting trafficked children provides timely victim identification, placing victims in a safe environment, and providing them with widespread support services, such as physical and mental health care, educational opportunities, legal assistance, and reintegration with their families and communities.

    Unfortunately, a single law cannot abolish child sex tourism or child sex trafficking, but the International Megan's Law represents a huge step in the right direction by protecting victims and potential victims from terrifying harm.

    {time} 1600 Mr. Speaker, we passed the same bill last Congress, and I urge my colleagues to do so again.

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