The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed three more bills to combat the rising issue of human trafficking: H.R. 2664, the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act; H.R. 2480, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act; and H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act.
“Human trafficking is among the cruelest forms of criminal activity out there, and sadly, our state and local communities are among the hardest hit,” said U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock). “As a father, I cannot fathom the horror that these families go through. We must continue to push for severe federal penalties and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law when it comes to human trafficking crimes.”
Human trafficking is the fasting growing organized criminal activity in the world, generating $150 billion for criminals each year according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of State. California’s size and location make it the number one destination in the United States for the sale and exploitation of persons. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California had 1,323 reported cases in 2016 – nearly double that of Texas, which has the second-highest number of reported cases at 670.
The House in May passed another set of bills aimed at fighting human trafficking, bringing the total number for Senate consideration to six: H.R. 1625, the Targeted Rewards for the Global Eradication of Human Trafficking (TARGET) Act; H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017; and H.R. 2473, the Put Trafficking Victims First Act of 2017.