President continues offensive against human trafficking, signs new bill

by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 9 signed into law the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act, authorizing $430 million to further combat human trafficking.

“This is an urgent humanitarian issue. My administration is committed to leveraging every resource we have to confront this threat, to support the victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes,” the president said.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before signing anti-human trafficking legislation on Jan. 9 in the Oval Office.

The new law, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican, provides resources for trafficking prevention education for children; shelter, therapies, and reintegration assistance for trafficking survivors; the facilitation of trafficking-free supply chains in the United States; training of government officials as well as airline industry employees to identify trafficking cases; and oversight to ensure that government purchases are not employing traffickers.

Soon after taking office, Trump issued an executive order giving the FBI extra power to crack down on human trafficking offenses. During Trump’s first two months in office, authorities arrested more than 1,500 pedophiles in the United States.

Related: Unreported: 1,500 pedophile arrests made nationally since Trump took office, February 26, 2017

The new law includes $78 million for the Department of Health and Human Services for age-appropriate education for children on trafficking prevention. The department also will continue to operate the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

The new legislation also provides funding to the International Megan’s Law, which was also authored by Smith.

The International Megan’s Law, which was named in memory of Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old who was murdered in 1994 by a convicted pedophile, establishes country-to-country notification about convicted pedophiles who may be traveling to an area for the purposes of sex trafficking or child exploitation.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a 2016 report that there has been an increase in the number of trafficking victims, particularly girls, over the last decade. The report said 23 percent of all detected trafficking victims around the world were girls under the age of 18.

Rep. Karen Bass, California Democrat, co-sponsored the legislation named in honor of Frederick Douglass.

“In the fight to end modern day slavery, my law honors the extraordinary legacy of one of the greatest Americans who ever lived,” Rep. Smith said in a press release.

The release also included a statement from Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the great-great-great-grandson of Douglass.

“If my great ancestor were here today, I believe he would be driven to lead the struggle against contemporary forms of slavery,” Morris stated.

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