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Human Trafficking Bills Winding Through Congress


U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) on Monday supported two bills to combat human trafficking in the international community. The pair of bills builds upon previous legislation passed by Congress that established the framework for increased resources, greater accountability and enhanced communication worldwide in the effort to put an end to human trafficking.

“Human trafficking and child exploitation continue to impact communities internationally and at home in the Valley,” said Rep. Denham. “The bills I supported in the House today will help us prevent future crimes, protect the children of the world and move towards ending this heinous practice.”

The first bill applies the principles of Megan’s Law to international travel. This legislation creates an Angel Watch Center within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to maintain an information system on travel of child sex offenders and collaborate with nongovernmental organizations with expertise in identifying and preventing child sex trafficking. It also requires child sex offenders to notify authorities of plans to travel internationally. The bill encourages cooperation and consensus in the international community.

The second bill, the Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act, seeks to prevent human trafficking in the form of debt bondage by instructing the Secretary of State and Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development to create a clear definition of recruitment and placement fees for contractors and their agents. They must also provide Congress with comprehensive updates on their efforts to ensure the prevention of trafficking through similar contractual clauses.

Rep. Denham previously voted in favor of a package of five bills in May 2014 which sought to boost funding for agencies, strengthen protections for children and support victims of human trafficking.

“This legislation is not only imperative to the prevention of child exploitation, human trafficking and other potential crimes, but is also critical to ensuring that no more experience the anguish and pain that too many have already felt,” said Rep. Denham.