Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Reps. Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation Tuesday aimed at combating child trafficking.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would support and protect victims of child trafficking with increased resources for law enforcement and victim services that would be funded through fines on offenders.
The bill would establish a “Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund” to support programs for victims of human trafficking and child pornography, with up to $30 million a year funded through fines on offenders.
It also would make funding available to support state and local efforts to fight trafficking, and provides new protections for victims.
The bill also is co-sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn. A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.
“One of the biggest challenges in confronting child sex trafficking is finding the resources for that fight in a tough financial environment,” Wyden said. “This bill provides resources by making the criminals pay for putting their victims’ lives back together. It’s an important step toward finally ending this scourge.”
Wyden’s remarks from Tuesday’s press conference announcing the bill can be found here.
Wyden has long been a leader in the fight against child trafficking. Earlier this year, key provisions of Wyden’s Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act were signed into law as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
These provisions authorize new resources to combat child trafficking, and authorize a pilot program that creates comprehensive residential care facilities throughout the country to provide safe havens for minors who are victims of domestic sex trafficking.
Wyden has also introduced the bipartisan Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act of 2013 with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. That bill seeks to improve state and national data on the scope and prevalence of child sex trafficking and ensure states have plans in place to address the problem.