International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Traffickingby Representative Ann Wagner
Posted on 2016-02-01
WAGNER. I thank the gentlemen for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 515, the International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking.
I would like to thank, like so many have, Congressman Chris Smith for introducing this important legislation to protect innocent children from the evils of sexual predators in the United States and worldwide.
As a mother who raised three beautiful children, I can tell you that the constant concern for their safety and protection never goes away. When they were young, I worried if they were safe at the playground down the street, if they were safe at the shopping mall or movie theater.
Named after a young girl who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered at just 7 years old by her neighbor, Megan's Law and public knowledge of predators in our communities have been critical tools in protecting our children and easing some of the many fears that parents feel every single day.
I cannot fathom the anger and anguish felt by Megan's parents and all parents whose children fall prey to such sick predators. I would do anything to protect my children and all children from sexual predators, and I feel blessed that I and my colleagues are in a position where we can make a difference.
We will be able to better identify and scrutinize sex offenders' activity, ensuring that they do not engage in the ghastly practice of sex tourism either in our own neighborhood or any neighborhood around the world.
The U.S. must take a leading role as a global defender of children from sexual abuse. Often planning their trips around locations where the most vulnerable children can be found, sex offenders should not be allowed to use the anonymity provided by foreign travel to help hide their hideous crimes.
A 2010 Government Accountability Office report showed that in a single year, at least 4,500 registered sex offenders received U.S. passports to travel internationally. This is absolutely unacceptable, Mr. Speaker.
During my time as a United States ambassador, I was exposed firsthand to the horrors of sexual abuse and human trafficking on the international level.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.