Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) released the following statement today on bipartisan legislation on human trafficking pending in the Connecticut legislature. Congress recently passed the Violence Against Women Act, which included the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, critical to protecting victims of human trafficking and strengthening prevention against the heinous crime.
"All across the globe -- including here in Connecticut -- women, teenagers, and even children are being ferried far from home and forced into prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. By force, fraud, or coercion, others are being compelled to hard labor against their will. This is slavery, pure and simple. We all know that slavery is abhorrent to our basic ideals and to our way of life. The bloodiest war in our history was fought to remove this scourge from American life.
"And yet, here we are in the second decade of the 21st century and modern-day slavery is still an enormous problem. According to the Polaris Project, it is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise worldwide, and second only to the drug trade in its breadth and sweep. By other accounts, more men, women, and children are in slavery today than ever before in the history of our planet.
"This is not just a problem, it is an outrage. We have a moral duty to alleviate pain and suffering wherever we may see it. In the words of Abraham Lincoln: "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel.' Societies are judged by how they treat their least fortunate and we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to protect girls and women from this modern day slavery, in our country and around the world.
"The 55 female legislators in Hartford should be honored for highlighting this issue. I am proud to support their work on this important issue and will work with my colleagues to do everything possible on the federal level to reinforce their efforts."