|

Senate Passes 'National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month' Resolution

Washington—The Senate today passed unanimously a bipartisan resolution introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) designating January as “National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month.”

“We can't ignore the fact that, even in our modern society, sexual exploitation and forced labor continue,” said Senator Feinstein. “We have a responsibility to the victims to shine a light on these horrendous acts. Our resolution will raise awareness of the problem, let victims know they're not alone and offer a pathway to seek help. It also highlights the continued need for a whole-of-government approach and community partnerships to combat and hopefully put an end to these heinous crimes.”

“It takes all eyes and ears to fight human trafficking and slave labor. This resolution is an important step forward in raising public awareness for victims of trafficking and exploitation. By shedding light on this crime, we can empower individuals to speak up and reach out for the necessary help and support. Standing in solidarity with victims of commercial sex and forced labor is essential to rooting out human exploitation,” said Senator Grassley.

“Throughout my career, I've worked to change both state and federal law to prevent human trafficking and help survivors heal,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I'll keep working to raise awareness about trafficking and getting every resource we can to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable.”

“I'm dedicated to helping and protecting the most vulnerable in our society – and that includes victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. To prevent these atrocities, we must all work to raise awareness, learn about the signs, and help stop these crimes before they even happen,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “While this resolution is about raising awareness, there is so much more we can do—and I look forward to continuing to work with advocates and my colleagues to craft solutions that protect people in the long term.”

In addition to Senators Feinstein, Grassley, Cortez Masto and Murkowski, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine),

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).

Full text of the resolution is available here and below:

Supporting the observation of National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month during the period beginning on January 1, 2023, and ending on February 1, 2023, to raise awareness of, and opposition to, human trafficking and modern slavery.

Whereas the United States abolished the transatlantic slave trade in 1808 and abolished chattel slavery and prohibited involuntary servitude in 1865;

Whereas, because the people of the United States remain committed to protecting individual freedom, there is a national imperative to eliminate human trafficking and modern slavery, which is commonly considered to mean—

(1)   the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of an individual through the use of
(2)   force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjecting that individual to involuntary servitude, peonage, , or slavery; or

(3)   the inducement of a commercial sex act by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the individual induced to perform that act is younger than 18 years of age;

Whereas forced labor and human trafficking generates revenues of approximately $150,000,000,000 annually worldwide, and there are an estimated 50,000,000 victims of human trafficking and modern slavery across the globe;

Whereas victims of human trafficking are difficult to identify and are subject to manipulation, force, fraud, coercion, and abuse;

Whereas children and youths experiencing homelessness are vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation, making them a prime target for the lucrative criminal industry of human trafficking;

Whereas the Department of Justice has reported that human trafficking and modern slavery has been reported and investigated in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia;

Whereas the Department of State has reported that the top 3 countries of origin of federally identified human trafficking victims in the United States in fiscal year 2021 were the United States, Mexico, and Honduras;

Whereas, to help businesses in the United States combat child labor and forced labor in global supply chains, the Department of Labor has identified 158 goods from 77 countries that are made by child labor and forced labor;

Whereas, since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has identified 82,301 cases of human trafficking involving 164,839 victims;

Whereas there are known risk factors that contribute to youths running away, including domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and neglect, and runaway youths who experience homelessness are potential targets for human trafficking;

Whereas, of the more than 26,500 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020, 1 in 6 were likely victims;

Whereas youth experiencing homelessness experience high rates of human trafficking and 1 in 5 homeless youths is a victim of , , or both;

Whereas 22 percent of youths who experience homelessness were approached for paid sex on their first night of homelessness;

Whereas LGBTQ youths are disproportionally affected, accounting for 33.8 percent of sex trafficking victims;

Whereas youths facing homelessness have a lower probability of being trafficked if they have a supportive adult in their life;

Whereas the Administration for Native Americans of the Department of Health and Human Services reports that American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander women and girls have a heightened risk for sex trafficking;

Whereas the Department of Justice found that on the topic of human trafficking of American Indians and Alaska Natives suggest there are—

(1)   high rates of sexual exploitation of Native women and girls;
(2)   gaps in data and research on trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Native victims; and

(3)   barriers that prevent agencies and victim service providers from identifying and responding appropriately to Native victims;

Whereas, according to the Government Accountability Office, from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2016, there were only 14 Federal investigations and 2 Federal prosecutions of human trafficking offenses in Indian country;

Whereas, to combat human trafficking and modern slavery in the United States and globally, the people of the United States, the Federal Government, and State, Tribal, and local governments must be—

(1)   aware of the realities of human trafficking and modern slavery; and

(2)   dedicated to stopping the horrific enterprise of human trafficking and modern slavery;

Whereas the United States should hold accountable all individuals, groups, organizations, governments, and countries that support, advance, or commit acts of human trafficking and modern slavery;

Whereas, through education, the United States must also work to end human trafficking and modern slavery in all forms in the United States and around the world;

Whereas victims of human trafficking deserve a trauma-in- formed approach that integrates the pursuit of justice and provision of social services designed to help them escape, and recover from, the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma they endured;

Whereas combating human trafficking requires a whole-of- government effort that rests on a unified and coordinated response among Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and that places equal value on the prevention of trafficking, the identification and stabilization of victims, and the investigation and prosecution of traffickers;

Whereas laws to prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking and to assist and protect victims of human trafficking and modern slavery have been enacted in the United States, including—

(1)   the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.);
(2)   title XII of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Public Law 113–4; 127 Stat. 136);
(3)   the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–22; 129 Stat. 227);
(4)   sections 910 and 914(e) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–125; 130 Stat. 239 and 274);
(5)   section 1298 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (22 U.S.C. 7114);
(6)   the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017 (Public Law 115–392; 132 Stat. 5250);
(7)   the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 (Public Law 115–393; 132 Stat. 5265);
(8)   the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–425; 132 Stat. 5472);
(9)   the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (Public Law 115–427; 132 Stat. 5503);
(10)  the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (Public Law 117–103; 136 Stat. 840);
(11)  the Abolish Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 (Public Law 117–347; 136 Stat. 6199); and

(12)  the Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022 (Public Law 117–348; 136 Stat. 6211);

Whereas the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–22; 129 Stat. 227) established the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking to provide a formal platform for survivors of human trafficking to advise and make recommendations on Federal anti-trafficking policies to the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking established by the President;

Whereas the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a final rule (80 Fed. Reg. 4967) to implement Executive Order 13627, entitled ‘‘Strengthening Protections Against in Fed- eral Contracts'', that clarifies the policy of the United States on combating trafficking in persons as outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation by strengthening the prohibition on contractors from charging employee recruitment fees;

Whereas, although such laws and regulations are currently in force, it is essential to increase public awareness, particularly among individuals who are most likely to come into contact with victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, regarding conditions and dynamics of human trafficking and modern slavery, precisely because traffickers use techniques that are designed to severely limit self-reporting and evade law enforcement;

Whereas January 1 is the anniversary of the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation;

Whereas February 1 is—

(1)   the anniversary of the date on which President Abraham Lincoln signed the joint resolution sending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to the States for ratification to forever declare, ‘‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction''; and

(2)   a date that has long been celebrated as National Freedom Day, as described in section 124 of title 36, United States Code; and

Whereas, under the authority of Congress to enforce the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ‘‘by appropriate legislation'', Congress, through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), updated the post-Civil War involuntary servitude and slavery statutes and adopted an approach of victim protection,  vigorous  prosecution,  and  prevention  of human trafficking, commonly known as the ‘‘3P'' approach: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate supports—

(1)   observing National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month during the period beginning on January 1, 2023, and ending on February 1, 2023, to recognize the vital role that the people of the United States have in ending human trafficking and modern slavery;
(2)   marking the observation of National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month with appropriate programs and activities, culminating in the observance on February 1, 2023, of National Freedom Day, as described in section 124 of title 36, United States Code;
(3)   urging continued partnerships with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, as well as survivors of human trafficking, social service providers and nonprofit organizations to address human trafficking with a collaborative, victim-centered approach; and

(4)   all other efforts to prevent, eradicate, and raise awareness of, and opposition to, human trafficking and modern slavery.

###

 

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.