DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 08, 2004)
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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Akin amendment which affirms, reaffirms existing U.S. policy of two of the most heinous practices known to humankind: sex trafficking and prostitution.
It should be very clear that the Akin amendment reiterates that funding in this bill cannot be used to circumvent provisions already existing in law, Public Law 108-225. As with the existing law, the Akin amendment states that no taxpayer funds designated for HIV/AIDS prevention may be used to promote or to advocate the legalization of prostitution or sex trafficking, and that no funds may be given to any group or organization that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution or sex trafficking.
As the author of both the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and the Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act of 2003, I believe that the U.S. should do everything in its power to combat and to eliminate human trafficking in prostitution.
Those who advocate the legalization of prostitution, I believe, are doing a grave disservice to women and demeaning their dignity.
Individuals and groups seeking to receive U.S. assistance to fight AIDS who believe that the legalization of prostitution or they turn a blind eye to prostitution are part of the problem. They are not part of the solution.
Mr. Chairman, the horrors of sex trafficking, which is indeed modern-day slavery, and the ugliness of prostitution cannot be understated. The recently released "Trafficking in Persons Report," which was done pursuant to our Act, has pointed out that some 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked every year across borders. I urge a "yes" vote for the Akin amendment.