Youth for Human Rights Pledges Grassroots Support for International Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiative in 2020

By: EIN Presswire

WASHINGTON, DC, US, January 2, 2020 -- Youth for Human Rights National Office announced today its pledge to activate grassroots support through its U.S. chapters to help prevent global human trafficking through the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act (HR 4326) introduced by Representatives Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08).

Representatives Wagner and Jeffries released the following statements after they introduced the bill proposing an amendment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to reduce demand for commercial sex acts under the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“Combating sex trafficking requires an all-of-the-above approach that fights not just the pimps who sell trafficking victims, but also the buyers who choose to exploit victims. Criminalizing the purchase of commercial sex acts and ending illegal sex ‘tourism’ are key to reducing the demand for trafficking victims and eliminating the worldwide sex trafficking trade.” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-02)

“Sex trafficking is a heinous human rights violation that affects more than 4.5 million victims across the globe. The bipartisan Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act aims to prevent the global demand for commercial sex and sex tourism in order to reduce the number of trafficking victims. Rep. Wagner should be commended for her commitment in this regard.” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08)

According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is “modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” The victims of this crime in the U.S. are men and women, adults and children, foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. Victims are of all genders, ages, races, countries, socioeconomic statuses, etc.

The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act would work to reduce demand for participation in international sex tourism by increasing awareness and educating potential buyers of commercial sex and how traffickers exploit prostituted persons. The intention is to prohibit the purchase of commercial sex acts by penalizing countries that allow human trafficking to go on without consequence by labeling the countries with poor grades in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

“We need to change the way society responds to sex trafficking and change the culture to stop promoting that it is acceptable to buy sex from people who are mostly victims of sex trafficking,” Erica Rodgers, Director for Youth for Human Rights International National Office in Washington, DC, stated. “This piece of legislation has the potential to dramatically reduce human trafficking in the U.S. and world wide by appropriately punishing buyers of commercial sex from victims of trafficking.”

Youth for Human Rights is also encouraging other human rights groups and advocacy groups who work to reduce human trafficking to support Representatives Wagner and Jeffries in gaining more cosponsors for the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act.

Current cosponsors on the bill are:
Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY)
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa)
Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA)
Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL)
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-NJ)
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY)
Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-IA)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, JR (D-GA)

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