Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Actby Representative Michael M. Honda
Posted on 2015-01-28
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Mr. HONDA. Mr. Speaker, we recognize January as National Slavery and
Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In fact, Santa Clara County of my
Silicon Valley district also proclaimed this month as Human Trafficking
In the fight against this modern-day slavery, I am proud to introduce the vital bipartisan legislation--Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act--alongside my colleagues, Congressman Ted Poe, Karen Bass, and Rodney Davis.
Mr. Speaker, human trafficking is a disease upon our humanity, and it remains the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise. According to the International Labor Organization, trafficking is an estimated $150 billion industry worldwide, which exploits nearly 21 million victims around the world.
Sadly, my home state of California is near the top in reported trafficking cases. Furthermore, it is estimated that 40 percent of the human trafficking activity on the West Coast comes through the three Bay Area airports of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.
My legislation will turn back the tide of human trafficking, as it allows those survivors who were impacted by this cruel system to [[Page E130]] voice their experiences and educate policymakers. Specifically, this bill will create a survivors-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking to review federal government policy and programs on human trafficking. This council will advise, formulate assessments and recommendations, and submit reports to the Senior Policy Operating Group and the President's Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons.
Directly hearing and learning from those who fell victim to this heinous crime is the best tool to eliminate human trafficking. Ultimately, this legislation values survivors, beyond just their stories. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this crucial bill, so that we may finally rid of human trafficking--once and for all.
Mr. Speaker, be it labor or sex trafficking, human trafficking is the worst kind of atrocity. Each day, this scourge continues to endanger, exploit, and enslave lives. Even as we bring further awareness to this crime this month of January, we must sustain the fight each and every day.