Maloney proposal to stem human trafficking approved by House Committee
WASHINGTON, DC – An amendment by Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT), based on legislation authored by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus, was approved today in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), H.R. 2830.
The Maloney language would encourage companies with over $100 million in gross global receipts to post on their websites what policies they have in place to ensure their supply chains are free of slavery and human trafficking. It will increase transparency, allow consumers to make informed decisions, and motivate businesses to ensure humane practices throughout the supply chain. The amendment was approved on a voice vote.
“Thousands of trafficking victims are held in deplorable conditions throughout the world. The bipartisan TVPRA has dramatically strengthened our efforts to fight human trafficking, giving prosecutors the tools they needed to hold traffickers accountable while providing a helping hand to victims as well,” Maloney said.
“My amendment would help raise awareness for consumers who want to know where and how their goods are being made. Like most Americans, I want to know that the clothes I wear don’t come from cotton picked by slaves and the hotel room I stay in wasn’t cleaned by a victim of trafficking. This amendment gives us the tools to choose what we buy and where we stay. We must use every means available to help the men, women, and children around the world who are victims of slavery in the 21st Century.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was originally signed into law in 2000 and established the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, authorized the annual Trafficking in Persons report, and established a global minimum standard for confronting trafficking and slavery.
This year’s reauthorization (H.R. 2830) was introduced in the House by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Howard Berman (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Maloney. It will renew the legislation for another three years and improves upon the tools to combat trafficking by
• Authorizing new emergency response capacity for the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in situations like the earthquake in Haiti, which placed large numbers of children and adults at risk of trafficking.
• Strengthening the Protect Act, which allows the U.S. to prosecute Americans visiting abroad who exploit children in sex tourism. The new provision would also allow prosecution of Americans living abroad, not just visiting.
• Prohibiting foreign labor recruiters in the U.S. from requiring payment by foreign workers (which is often the way that workers are forced into debt bondage) and providing a process to credential legitimate labor recruitment agencies.
BACKGROUND: Congresswoman Maloney is an original cosponsor of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.” She has worked to combat sex trafficking internationally, nationally, and in New York City. More information is available at http://maloney.house.gov/issue/human-trafficking.