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Public Statements

Human Rights

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. COONS. Mr. President, today is Human Rights Day, and I wanted to simply add my voice to the many others who have spoken about the important work the United States can do to continue our leadership around the world as a country that holds itself accountable and leads others toward being accountable for a world in which human rights have meaning and substance. There are two things we can do between now and the end of this calendar year that will make a significant contribution to human rights and to the U.S. global leadership.

First, the House of Representatives can take up and pass VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill passed months ago by this Chamber. It is a strong, broad, sensible reauthorization bill that I think well deserves consideration and passage by the other Chamber.

Second, TVPA, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, needs to be reauthorized. I was proud last month to join with Senator Portman and the Presiding Officer, Senator Blumenthal, as the three of us jointly founded the Caucus to End Human Trafficking. Slavery exists in the world today. In this country and around the world, there are victims of human trafficking whose voices demand to be heard. By reauthorizing TVPA, this Chamber and this country can make a meaningful contribution toward ending trafficking of persons in the United States and around the world.

I simply wanted to add today, Human Rights Day, those two simple calls for action so this Congress and this country can continue our global leadership.

The House of Representatives needs to take up and pass VAWA and the Senate needs to pass the TVPA reauthorization. Together let us continue to make history in America's leadership on human rights.

With that, I yield the floor.


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