VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Delivers House Floor Remarks to Improve Law Enforcement and Awareness Programs to Fight Human Trafficking
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted to pass three bills to improve law enforcement efforts to fight human trafficking in the United States and abroad, including the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act (H.R. 2480), the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act (H.R. 2664), and the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2200).
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke on the floor urging support for the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act which she helped introduce earlier this year that funds programs at the federal, state, and local level to identify and prosecute human traffickers in order to better protect and defend against abuse.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:
“Too often we hear about human trafficking and sex slavery and dismiss it as a crime that only happens overseas or in a foreign country. The Global Slavery Index estimated that nearly 46 million people across 167 countries were victims of human trafficking in 2016. Here at home, human trafficking is also a problem where we have children and young people forced or coerced into sex work and hard labor in our communities all across the country.
“As America’s gateway to Asia, my home state of Hawaii sees people taken from their homes and exploited here on our shores. In 2010, the FBI freed 400 Thai nationals from a Hawaii farm, the largest human trafficking case in our modern history. In Hawaii, I know girls as young as 11 and 13 years old who are recruited from schools, malls, and beaches to be exploited by traffickers. While every state, including Hawaii, have passed legislation to ban trafficking and classify it as a felony, stronger and further action is needed to combat this modern international slave trade.
“The Frederick Douglass Protection and Prevention Act will expand programs to help educators recognize and respond to signs of minors being exploited by human traffickers and support local law enforcement officials as they identify prosecutors to focus on sex and slave trafficking cases. I strongly support this legislation and urge my colleagues to vote for this bill that will give innocent men, women, and children a chance at safe, productive, and healthy lives.”
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has fought to combat human trafficking throughout her time in Congress. She is an original co-sponsor on the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act (H.R.459) and has supported a series of human trafficking bills, including the Global Child Protection Act (H.R. 1862), the Strengthening Children's Safety Act of 2017 (H.R. 1842), the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 1188), the Targeting Child Predators Act of 2017 (H.R. 883), and the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017 ( H.R. 695) and co-sponsored the TARGET Act (H.R. 1625).