Today, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of Florida's Congressional delegation, sponsored legislation with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and over 70 co-sponsors to fight the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. This legislation would:
* educate local communities to protect sexually exploited and trafficked children;
* support survivors of domestic trafficking;
* afford the same protections to victims of child trafficking that victims of child abuse currently have;
* encourage law enforcement and prosecutors to treat trafficked girls as victims and not criminals;
* support an end to demand for girls to be used in child trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Through this legislation, I reaffirm my commitment to protect girls from this form of modern-day slavery. For too long, this repugnant practice has been allowed to proliferate unabated in our communities. No longer will we sit idly by while our young girls are victimized by those who only seek to do them harm while living outside the bounds of the law. It is time we recognize this class of victimized girls and work to remedy the harm that has befallen them. This scourge of trafficking is degrading to vulnerable girls in all parts of the world and our community is no exception."