U.S. Rep. Karen Bass introduced two bipartisan amendments which were included in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act that cleared the Foreign Affairs Committee today.
The first amendment prevents U.S. funds from perpetuating human trafficking and establishes a code of conduct within the State Department to prevent human trafficking and prohibits contractors from engaging in trafficking. It also aims at training State Department personnel to recognize and report human trafficking.
Earlier this month, Rep. Bass successfully introduced an amendment to the Defense Department Appropriations Bill prohibiting Department funds from resulting in human trafficking or labor abuses on U.S. military bases.
"American tax dollars should not be used to exploit human beings and sanction human trafficking," said U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. "This modern form of slavery is an affront to our values as Americans and we must work to end situations that permit forced labor, sexual trafficking, or involuntary servitude."
The second Bass amendment asks the State Department to create a strategy for inter-country adoptions to ensure that standards and safeguards for adoption are followed ensuring the best interests of children are protected. It also improves the adoption process between the United States and home countries for many of our adopted youth, to include Russia, South Korea and Guatemala.
Rep. Bass is the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Adoption and co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Care.
"We have a duty as a caring society to help connect families and give children an opportunity to grow up in a loving, nurturing home," said U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. "We need to strengthen the international adoption process to protect children and preserve their rights."