By Miriam Raftery
January 29, 2015 (San Diego) – It’s rare for both parties in Congress to agree on anything these days. But the House of Representatives has just approved 10 bills to help combat human trafficking. All five of San Diego’s Congressional representatives voted in favor of two of the bills and the rest passed by voice vote without a roll call of members.
The bills enhance law enforcement efforts, increase training to better identify signs of human trafficking, and look at way to improve current practices. A recent report by the Urban Institute studied eight cities in America and singled out San Diego as a leader in gang activity surrounding prostitution.
Congresswoman Susan Davis supported all 10 bills. She states, “Sadly, incidents of human trafficking are still prevalent throughout the world. This legislative package will improve efforts of the federal government and help our communities combat the exploitation of people, especially children.”
Here are highlights of the legislative package:
- H.R. 181 – Provides assistance to state and local law enforcement to strengthen the investigation and prosecution of sex trafficking. It also bolsters victims’ support programs to help them restore their lives.
- H.R. 398 – Provides evidence-based training for health care professionals to help them identify the signs of human trafficking.
- H.R. 460 – Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to train DHS personnel to better detect, deter and prevent human trafficking.
- H.R. 468 – Increases opportunities for nonprofit private agencies to provide services to runaway and homeless youths, who can become victims of trafficking.
The remainder of the bills would coordinate international efforts and engage in research to ensure that best practices are used and updated to stop human trafficking.
The measures now move to the U.S. Senate for approval.