Florida Delegation Rallies Behind the STOP Human Trafficking Act

This week, members of the Florida congressional delegation allies behind a proposal 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.”

U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., introduced the “Study To Observe and Prevent (STOP) Human Trafficking Act” with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., as the main co-sponsor.

“Strip clubs are known to be high-risk locations for human trafficking. Unfortunately, the federal government lacks the data necessary to fully understand the scope of this problem at these venues,” said Waltz. “We have an obligation to ensure young workers at these clubs are protected from any and all forms of trafficking and exploitation. This study is critical to providing Congress with the data we need to modernize our laws and prevent human trafficking in our country.”

“Human trafficking is a scourge on our society that often goes undetected, particularly at adult entertainment clubs,” said Deutch. “There’s no question that we can and must do more to combat human trafficking in our communities and protect these vulnerable people. This bipartisan bill will go far to help the Justice Department better understand human trafficking at strip clubs and what must be done to end it.”

More than a dozen co-sponsors have lined up behind the bill including U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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