Marco Rubio, Bob Menendez Offer Proposal to Combat Global Human Trafficking

This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., championed U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez’s, D-NJ, proposal to reauthorize the “Trafficking Victims Protection Act.”

Menendez introduced the “International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act” to “reauthorize and enhance critical programming, policy, and funding essential to the United States’ efforts to combat human trafficking across the world” with Rubio and U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as co-sponsors.

“Despite our great strides in recent years, human trafficking remains a horrific reality for countless millions of people around the world. Today, as millions of Ukrainian women and children fleeing Putin’s brutal invasion are among those at the greatest risk of being trafficked, we are reminded that traffickers seize any opportunity to exploit people in desperate circumstances, particularly victims of war and conflict,” Menendez said on Tuesday. “This legislation will strengthen the United States’ ability to prevent and fight human trafficking in all its forms including by expanding prevention efforts at the USAID and increasing the tools available to hold governments to account if they do not take steps to combat human trafficking. I welcome the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and look forward to working with them to secure swift passage of this legislation so we can ensure renewed U.S. leadership to combat the scourge of human trafficking in every corner of the world.”

“Human trafficking is an urgent global crisis that has caused horrific suffering for millions worldwide,” Rubio said. “This bill will provide the tools to better combat the scourge of human trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable so that women and men around the world can live safely and freely.”

Besides reauthorizing the “Trafficking Victims Protection Act” that Congress first passed in 2000, the bill would “expand U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, including forced labor; propose new requirements for the United States Agency for International Development to integrate prevention efforts into the agency’s global programming; and amend the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act to ensure that a country’s commitment and progress toward implementing effective counter-trafficking measures is a factor when determining recipients of U.S. development assistance.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House.

Kevin Derby
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