Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the U.S. House have passed a series of bills aimed at combating the growing problem of human trafficking in the United States.
“Human trafficking is one of the most horrific crimes that exists in the world today and we must do everything in our power to eliminate this modern-day slavery,” Hartzler said. “The FBI says that human trafficking is the fastest growing business of organized crime and the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. We must stop this heinous crime, and today we took steps to do just that. I am very proud to have co-sponsored many of the bills we passed and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to pass them quickly.”
“As a mother and strong supporter of adoption, I was especially proud to co-sponsor and vote for thePreventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act which requires states to take steps to identify, prevent, and address sex trafficking of youth in foster care,” Hartzler added. “In 2013, the FBI conducted a human trafficking raid in which 60 percent of the child sex trafficking victims recovered had lived in foster care or group homes. This bill will improve the lives of the over 400,000 youth currently in foster care and give them the tools they need to become better integrated into society and become successful adults.”
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, as millions of children, women, and men are trafficked every year around the world and in the U.S. In the Department of Justice’s Western District of Missouri alone, 15 cases involving human trafficking are currently being prosecuted. And since 2012, 45 defendants have been prosecuted. As recently as March 20, 2014, a man was indicted on charges related to sex trafficking of two female victims, one of them a minor.