Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to raise awareness of the crisis of human trafficking. As Congressman Black noted in her remarks, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world, with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims. This week, the House will vote on a series of bipartisan bills aimed at ending this crime, including the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act of 2015 and the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015. Congressman Black is an original cosponsor of both items of legislation. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below or click here for a video.
Mister Speaker, for many Americans, the issue of human trafficking is far removed from their daily lives; something that is relegated to foreign countries and history books. But the truth is, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world – with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims.
According to the Department of Justice, those most likely to fall prey to this heartbreaking crime are 12 to 14 year old girls. These young women are someone’s daughters, and we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight.
Last year, I visited End Slavery Tennessee – a nonprofit that works tirelessly to confront trafficking in my state. Their mission is taken from the book of Isaiah: “…to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
This week, the House will take meaningful steps to fulfill that vision by taking up a series of bipartisan bills addressing the impact of trafficking. This includes the SAVE Act – legislation I am cosponsoring to go after online advertisers who profit off the sale of these innocent victims.
Mister Speaker, no single act of Congress will stop all acts of trafficking, or bring justice for every victim whose innocence has been stolen by this evil. But we can’t let our inability to do everything stop us from doing something.
I yield back the balance of my time.