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Florida Congressional Reps Want DOJ to Investigate Human Trafficking at Strip Clubs

Last week, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., introduced a bill to “direct the U.S. Attorney General to conduct a study on the prevalence and instances of human trafficking at adult entertainment clubs and to report those findings to Congress.”

Waltz brought out the “Study To Observe and Prevent (STOP) Human Trafficking Act” with U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., as the main co-sponsor. Other backers include U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

“Strip clubs are known to be high-risk locations for human trafficking, a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry affecting nearly 25 million people worldwide,” said Waltz. “Unfortunately, the federal government lacks the data necessary to fully understand the scope of this problem at these venues. We have an obligation to ensure young workers at these clubs are protected from any and all forms of trafficking and exploitation. That is why I am proud to re-introduce this critical legislation to ensure Congress has the data necessary to modernize our laws and prevent human trafficking in our country.”

“The STOP Human Trafficking Act is a critical step towards combating human trafficking that plagues Florida’s adult entertainment clubs,” said Cherfilus-McCormick. “Despite rampant exploitation, the federal government lacks the necessary data to address this issue and stop the most heinous criminal offenders. By mandating a comprehensive study and fostering inter-agency coordination, this bipartisan bill will yield the robust information needed to confront human trafficking head-on and keep vulnerable individuals safe.”

The bill “will require the attorney general to conduct a study, in coordination with the president’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and relevant human trafficking organizations, regarding human trafficking at adult entertainment clubs” and the study “will examine how victims were trafficked, the demographics of victims, the victims’ relationship to the establishment, and the methods used by traffickers.” The bill would allow the attorney general 15 months to complete the study and report to Congress.

Waltz’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Author

  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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