National Human Trafficking Awareness Dayby Representative Michael G. Fitzpatrick
Posted on 2014-01-08
FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, the crime of human trafficking is
complex and it is destructive. It shatters the lives of its victims and
their loved ones. In an effort to bring attention to this modern-day
form of slavery, we recognize January 11, 2014, as National Human
Trafficking Awareness Day.
This multibillion dollar criminal industry exists in every State. The statistics are stunning, and it is essential this national awareness day shed light on a human rights tragedy which occurs in every region across our Nation.
Though the impact of this crime affects men, women, and children, approximately 80 percent of all human trafficking victims are women, and nearly half are minors. Overall, there are 21 million individuals who are victims of forced labor in a $32 billion industry that is only second to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of international crime.
Combating human trafficking requires commitment and cooperation at all levels of government and among agencies and among nonprofits. I see this collaboration taking root in my district in Pennsylvania.
I was pleased to attend a meeting at Calvary Church in Souderton, teaming up with local nonprofit, Worthwhile Wear, poised to address the issues of shelter and homelessness as they relate to human trafficking prevention and recovery.
The county-wide Bucks Coalition Against Trafficking created a local resource to raise public awareness and help end this horrendous crime through community education, victim identification, and legislative change. The Coalition has commemorated their 1-year anniversary, and their outstanding achievements have been recognized by the county of Bucks.
As the Federal Representative for Pennsylvania's Eighth Congressional District and a member of the Victims Rights Caucus, I am working to support and pass Federal laws to end this heinous crime through the introduction of bipartisan legislation that reflects the interests, rights, and the needs of victims.
January 11, 2014 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, but every day we must work together, forming a united front against human traffickers, and together we can raise public consciousness, prevent violence, protect the vulnerable, support survivors, and punish the offenders who perpetrate these crimes.
I appreciate the time on the floor this morning, Mr. Speaker.