Reichert's sex trafficking prevention bill passes Ways and Means

For the Reporter

The Ways and Means Committee today unanimously passed HR 4058, the Preventing Sex Trafficking of Youth in Foster Care Act introduced by U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8th District).

The act is bipartisan legislation that would ensure states are taking the proper steps to keep foster youth safe, help them lead happy, normal lives and stay off the streets to prevent them from becoming victims of sex trafficking. It also would help identify victims and the services they need to get them out of their situation and successfully rehabilitated into society.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 59 percent of juvenile suspected sex trafficking victims were in foster care or group homes before they ran away. This bill takes important steps to change these troubling statistics and prevent youth victimization.

"It is our duty to keep America's youth safe, especially those directly in our care," Reichert said. "I am pleased to see the overwhelming support this bill is receiving from both sides of the aisle and I look forward to seeing it on the House floor soon. We cannot let any more time pass when it comes to eliminating the horrific crime of sex trafficking."

The bill has broad support from groups dedicated to ending sex trafficking, including Rights4Girls, who wrote the Ways and Means Committee saying, "This legislation represents tremendous progress both in terms of our growing understanding of the prevalence and dynamics of domestic child sex trafficking and our efforts to address it. The steps proposed in the Act would help identify and connect child victims of sex trafficking and those at-risk with vital services and support at a much earlier stage... As a human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable young women and girls in the U.S., we urge Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation."

Other supporters of the bill include the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the American Public Human Services Association, the Foster Family-based Treatment Association, Love 146, and the National Children's Alliance.

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