Denham Votes to Stop Human Trafficking in the Central Valley
WASHINGTON — Today U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) voted to fight human trafficking with a series of new prevention and law enforcement measures. Aimed at ending this $32 billion-a-year industry, Rep. Denham supported five bills that will boost resources for law enforcement agencies, strengthen protection for children and support victims of this horrendous offense.
“As a father, I can’t imagine anything more horrible than what the parents of these exploited children go through,” said Rep. Denham. “Human trafficking unfortunately remains a widespread and tragic occurrence across the Central Valley. Reports show that our state is one of the nation’s top four destinations for trafficked beings. The bills I supported today will help to eliminate this practice and keep our children safe.”
This injustice unfortunately goes heavily underreported as victims stay silent due to fear of possible repercussions from perpetrators. Because a large portion of these crimes are conducted online, the ability to track down and apprehend criminals is becoming increasingly more difficult.
These bills provide law enforcement tracking this despicable practice with new tools to catch predators, encourage states to help victims recover with safe harbor laws and increased access to protective services, require states to work to identify victims of sex trafficking among foster care youth, ensure that destination countries are notified when a known sex trafficker is traveling to their country and make it a federal crime to knowingly advertise for commercial sex exploitation.
In light of the recent kidnappings of hundreds of girls in Nigeria and reports of as many as 300,000 American children at risk of being trafficked, these types of measures are more pressing than ever.
“We can all agree that even one child suffering from this heinous practice is one too many,” said Rep. Denham.