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House Takes Action to Crack Down on Internet Sex Trafficking

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Washington, February 27, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representative Ed Royce (CA-39) released the following statement after the House passed legislation he cosponsored, H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act which strengthens criminal penalties for websites that facilitate sex trafficking:

“In order to stay one step ahead of sex traffickers, local, state, and federal law enforcement need to have the tools and resources necessary to stop this form of modern day slavery before it happens. This includes the legal authority to crack down on websites that host sex trafficking content, as well as holding online collaborators accountable for criminal activity. Additionally, H.R. 1865 empowers victims to seek justice against online websites that knowingly promote sex trafficking. These bipartisan measures will ensure that fewer victims are trafficked online while sending a clear message to sex traffickers that their days are numbered.”


Background:

(Courtesy of the Speakers Office)
This legislation amends the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to hold websites that knowingly facilitate or support sex trafficking more accountable. FOSTA also creates a new federal crime for websites engaging in illegal prostitution, gives states and prosecutors the tools they need to enforce sex trafficking statutes on the books, and provides victims a path forward so they can sue websites that knowingly provide safe harbor to traffickers.

This past October, Rep. Royce partnered with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force to teach local hotel industry leaders how to spot signs of human trafficking and prostitution. Additionally, in 2013, Rep. Royce launched the Human Trafficking Congressional Advisory Committee (HTCAC) to address human trafficking concerns, as well as offer policy recommendations. The HTCAC is comprised of victims’ rights groups, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and community advocates, and is actively working to combat human trafficking in Southern California.

Additionally, in July of 2017, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Royce called the TARGET Act. This bill turns the tables on human traffickers by allowing the State Department to use cash rewards to help bring them to justice. Rewards issued under similar programs have helped lead to the capture of major terrorists and international criminals. Click HERE to read more about the TARGET Act.

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