This week I participated in a Helsinki Commission briefing on child sex trafficking. The sex trafficking and abuse of children is a crime that destroys the lives of the victims as well as the social fabric of society. The traffickers and abusers rely on their ability to frighten a child into silence or the reluctance of adults to listen when children speak. It is imperative that the justice system be ready to listen to allegations and to thoroughly investigate them.
The Helsinki Commission, in conjunction with the Victims' Rights Caucus, held this briefing on how justice systems can most effectively respond to domestic and international allegations of child trafficking. The briefing included a current case study in the Netherlands, where a government official has been accused of domestic and international child sex trafficking. Dutch authorities conducted a preliminary investigation, but many have found it grossly unsatisfactory as Dutch authorities interviewed only one of three victims and none of the available witnesses or facilitators of the alleged crime was interviewed. For more on the case study, please view the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmeYiR-yyS4.
This week, the First Focus Campaign for Children, a national, bipartisan children's advocacy group, recognized 100 Members of Congress -- including me -- for leadership on issues important to children during the 112th Congress. It's an honor to be recognized by the First Focus Campaign for Children for my work on behalf of America's children. Our children represent the best for our country's future and we must invest in them, their health and their educations. I take pride in fighting for our children in Congress and will continue to fight for them throughout my career.