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Victims of Modern Slavery

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), prime author of the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA--Public Law 106-386) that, among its numerous provisions, helped create the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force, praised the arrests announced today of brothel owners and their associates who allegedly lured women into coming to the United States illegally with promises of jobs as house cleaners or babysitters, only to trap them in a life of suffering and despair in "high volume" prostitution.

"As horrifying as it to be reminded again that sex trafficking occurs in our communities, I am proud that the Governor, legislators and law enforcement have made the fight against human trafficking a priority and that New Jersey's anti-trafficking law is--like the federal law I wrote--strong enough to put traffickers away for life," said Smith, co-chairman and co-founder of the House Human Trafficking Caucus "I look forward to seeing justice for all of the women and girls these traffickers so brutally abused."

Six people were arrested according to an announcement by Acting Attorney General John Hoffman. The network is believed to also operate in New York and other states.

Among its numerous provisions, TVPA authorized the U.S. State Department's annual Trafficking in Person's report (TIP report) that was released July 11. All countries, including the United States, are rated (the U.S. has the highest rating of Tier 1).

Smith said all Tier 3 (the lowest rating) countries are subject to potential sanctions that include: the United States using its voice and vote to deny such countries loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multi-lateral banks, and barring non-humanitarian, non-trade related foreign assistance, as well as certain education and cultural exchange programs. Since the TIP Report's inception, more than 120 countries have enacted anti-trafficking laws and many countries have taken other steps required to significantly raise their tier rankings--citing the TIP Report as a key factor in their increased anti-trafficking response.

In addition to the original 2000 law which provided for the annual reports, Smith wrote two subsequent anti-trafficking laws (PL 108-193 and PL 109-164) increasing resources for crime prevention and expanding treatment assistance for victims.

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