P1040092 copy 2

The House on Wednesday approved a sweeping reauthorization of the nation’s most comprehensive law to combat human trafficking, in a rare bipartisan vote.

The bill allocates $520 million over four years toward programs that aim to identify and aid victims of trafficking and prevent it from occurring.

The bill — called the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act — was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who has written several anti-trafficking bills in the past, and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. It passed by voice vote with no recorded opposition.

Programs covered by the act include educating children on how to avoid traffickers and training certain employers such as airlines on how to identify potential victims of trafficking. The bill also calls for both domestic and international efforts to combat trafficking and to prevent the sale in the U.S. of goods made by forced labor…

“I’ve been working on human trafficking since 1995,” Smith said. “Many people thought it was a solution in search of a problem. You’d say trafficking and their eyes would glaze over. This leadership … is making all the difference in the world — domestically and internationally – to mitigate this horror, this modern day slavery that disproportionately hurts women and children.”

Read the full article here.

Ran in the Asbury Park Press on Friday, July 14th, 2017 under “House passes Rep. Chris Smith’s bill designed to fight human trafficking” on Page 3A. Ran in USA Today on Wednesday, July 12th under “House passes sweeping overhaul of law to combat human trafficking.” USA Today version available online here