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House moves several bills to combat human trafficking

WASHINGTON,, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, says the House has passed eight bipartisan bills that will create new laws and update existing ones to help law enforcement and communities combat domestic and international human trafficking.

The measures are now pending in the Senate.

“As a member of the Congressional Human Trafficking Task Force, I am proud that members of this House continue to come together to fight against this form of modern-day-slavery that affects the lives of more than 20 million victims around the world,” said Davis, who is a cosponsor of H.R. 5135, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014.

Davis, who represents the 13h Congressional District, which includes much of Southern Illinois, says he will continue to work to raise awareness of the problem.

Davis has held two events in the district highlighting the issue of human trafficking by providing victims and prevention experts with a forum to share their stories and discuss ways to stop human trafficking.

The bills approved by the House this week include:

H.R. 2283, the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act – elevates the “Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking” to bureau status so the office reports directly to the Secretary of State.

H.R. 4449, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act – requires federal employees around the globe get trained in combating human trafficking.

H.R. 4980, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act – requires states to modify foster care standards and goals to increase permanent living arrangements among foster children and requires states to implement programs to prevent sex trafficking among at risk foster children.

H.R. 5076, the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act of 2014 – extends grants to nonprofit private agencies who provide street-based services to runaways and the homeless at risk of being trafficked. Additionally, requires HHS give priority to training and researching the effects of trafficking, and strategies for working with runaways and homeless youth victims.

H.R. 5081, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2014 – expands the requirements for states that receive grants for child protective services to include trafficking victims, identifying and assessing reports of trafficked victims, training workers to identify victims, and identifying services for referral to address the needs of victims.

H.R. 5111 – improves the response to victims of child sex trafficking by updating the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to replace the term “child prostitution” with “child sex trafficking, including child prostitution” in the reporting categories in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline so the public knows to report any case involving child prostitution or child sex trafficking to the tip line.

H.R. 5116 – directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to train Department of Homeland Security personnel on how to effectively deter, detect, disrupt, and prevent human trafficking, and requires training programs for TSA, Customs and Border Protection, and other departments so employees can deter, detect, and disrupt human trafficking.

H.R. 5135, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014 – requires all federal and state law enforcement to report on efforts to combat trafficking domestically. Additionally, this bill allows Justice Department grants to be used to support organizations that provide housing to trafficking victims.

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