Pryce Hails Signing of Trafficking
Victims Protection Act
WASHINGTON, D.C . – House Republican Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) today joined President George W. Bush at the White House as the president signed H.R. 972, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“The trafficking of human beings is one of the greatest human rights abuses of the 21 st century, and our nation has a moral obligation to fight this evil,” Pryce said. “The legislation the president signed today reflects our nation’s commitment to ending this evil around the world.
“This legislation also reflects our nation’s commitment to abolishing the unlawful sexual exploitation of women and children occurring within our own borders,” Pryce continued. “A nation that stands for the freedom and dignity of every human being cannot tolerate the degradation and exploitation of the innocent occurring on our own soil. This needs to be a national priority, because it is a global outrage.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act will provide $360 million over the next two years to combat trafficking around the globe. The bill contains provisions co-written by Pryce and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to target demand and to address the problem of trafficking in the United States. Specifically, these provisions will do the following:
· Promote more effective means of combating unlawful commercial sex activities by targeting demand;
· Provide grants to establish and expand assistance programs for victims of sex trafficking;
· Authorize a pilot program to provide shelter, counseling, and assistance to youth victims of sex trafficking in the United States;
· Help state and local law enforcement agencies to initiate programs to investigate and prosecute sex trafficking cases, educate those charged with purchasing or attempting to purchase commercial sex acts, and train law enforcement personnel;
· Require a biennial statistical review to provide a more accurate picture of the problem; and
· Require an annual report and conference on best practices of reducing demand for unlawful commercial sex acts.
Over the last year, Pryce has taken a broad approach to fighting human trafficking. In March, she led a fact-finding mission to Albania, Moldova, Greece, and Italy to address sex trafficking of women and children abroad and exchange ideas about how better to prevent sex trafficking, protect victims of sex trafficking, and prosecute those who traffic in, exploit, and purchase women and children. She met with government leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and victims of the sex trade. Information about her visit can be found at www.house.gov/pryce/codel.htm.
Additionally, as chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, she has held two hearings on human trafficking and is investigating the financial implications of the sex trade. Information about the hearings can be found at http://financialservices.house.gov/index.asp.