Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and John Carter (R-TX) have introduced the Human Trafficking Reporting Act to fight human trafficking. U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced its companion in the Senate.
"As a crime that ruins lives and exploits men, women, and children, human trafficking should hold the same classification as voluntary manslaughter and rape," said Rep. Maloney. "And by including human trafficking offenses in the data reported to the Department of Justice, we can expand our knowledge of the prevalence of this modern-day slavery."
"Human traffickers are like cockroaches. They operate in the dark. The American public has no real knowledge of the atrocities going on around the world. The human trafficking bill will be like turning the light on the cockroaches. They'll scatter and we'll be able to catch them," said Congressman John Carter, Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
"We must work together, at every level of government, to equip law enforcement with the tools they need to crack down on human traffickers. Our bill will aid Texas and other state and local governments as they battle organized criminal syndicates and violent gangs that traffic humans for labor and sex," said Sen. Cornyn.
"Human trafficking is a heinous crime which egregiously exploits women and children and forces them into modern day slavery," said Blumenthal, a former Connecticut Attorney General who co-chairs the Senate Caucus To End Human Trafficking with Senator Rob Portman. "Trafficking deprives people of their liberty and freedom through indentured servitude and forced labor."
The Human Trafficking Reporting Act of 2013 will help shine a light on the scourge of modern-day slavery by labeling human trafficking offenses as "Part I violent crimes" for purposes of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports.
Part I violent crimes are currently defined to include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Because grant funding is often tied to the number of Part I violent crimes in a given jurisdiction, this change will encourage law enforcement agencies nationwide to train their officials to detect and deter human trafficking, while helping the public to gain a better understanding of the size and scope of the human trafficking epidemic.
Most importantly, the Human Trafficking Reporting Act of 2013 will help identify victims of this terrible crime so that they can receive the justice they deserve.