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CRAMER: House Continues Its Work on Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Jul 12, 2017
Press Release

Recording: Audio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported several bipartisan anti-trafficking bills today passed by the House of Representatives to stand with victims and law enforcement to crack down on human traffickers and strengthen protections for at-risk communities.

“The House has passed sixteen bills this Congress to help victims, punish criminals, prevent trafficking, and assist our law enforcement,“ said Cramer. “I hope my colleagues in the Senate will take up these items as soon as possible to take a real stand against human trafficking in North Dakota and across the world.“

Cramer has made stopping human trafficking a priority since joining Congress in 2013. In addition to his support for 16 bills this Congress, on June 27, he attended the 2017 Trafficking In Persons Report Event with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump, where several international leaders in fighting human trafficking received awards for their remarkable anti-trafficking achievements. The Senate has yet to consider any of the bipartisan bills below.

Anti-trafficking legislation passed this week includes:

H.R. 2664, the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act, directs the Secretary of Labor to train Department of Labor personnel to detect trafficking and assist law enforcement in preventing trafficking.

H.R. 2480, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act, expands the ability of the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program (Byrne JAG) to enable law enforcement agencies to compete for federal funding, specifically to develop and carry out programs that fight sex trafficking demand.

H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017, reauthorizes $130 million in funding for the United States Government multi-agency international and domestic anti-human trafficking efforts, pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which is set to expire on September 30, 2017.

Other notable bills passed in the House this Congress include:

H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Ace of 2017, extends the mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse to national governing bodies, like USA Gymnastics, to ensure that reports are immediately made to local or federal law enforcement authorities.  The bill also allows civil suits by minors against sex abuse perpetrators to be brought by clarifying that once a victim has established a harm occurred, the court will presume $150,000 in monetary damages. The bill also extends the civil statute of limitations for these cases.

H.R. 1761, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, protects child pornography victims by remedying a federal court ruling in United States v. Palomino-Coronado.  This decision allowed a defendant to walk free from production of child pornography charges, despite photographic evidence he had engaged in sexual abuse of a seven-year-old child, because the court found that he lacked the specific intent to produce child pornography prior to abusing the child.  This legislation adds additional bases of liability to the crime of child pornography production to prevent this heinous crime and bring criminals to justice.

H.R. 1862, the Global Child Protection Act of 2017, expands the coverage of current laws relating to unlawful sexual conduct with minors during foreign travel.  Specifically, the bill amends Title 18 of the United States Code, to expand the definition of illicit sexual conduct to cover “sexual contact,” in addition to expanding the definition of a federal sexual offense against a minor to include this sexual contact.

H.R. 1842, the Strengthening Children's Safety Act of 2017, amends Title 18, of the United States Code, to include State crimes of violence as grounds for an enhanced penalty when sex offenders fail to register or report certain information.

H.R. 1188, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017, reauthorizes the two primary programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and modifies the act to encourage state and tribal compliance.

H.R. 883, the Targeting Child Predators Act of 2017, protects valuable information used to prosecute and convict child predators by requiring Internet Service Providers to wait 180 days before notifying customers in child predator cases that law enforcement officials requested information attached to a specific IP address. 

H.R. 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017, directs the Department of Justice to establish a program to allow organizations that provide services to youth, the elderly, and the disabled to obtain information from criminal background checks in the Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint database.

H.R. 1625, the TARGET Act, amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the State Department and law enforcement agencies to target international human traffickers by offering financial rewards for their arrest or conviction. 

H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to better support states and local entities as they explore and implement ways to serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017, updates the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to align with best practices currently utilized at the state and local levels to recover missing and exploited children.

H.R. 1370, the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act of 2017, amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue Department-wide guidance and develop training programs as part of the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking.