We Can Win the Fight Against Human Trafficking

I spoke on the Senate floor today on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, legislation I've introduced and which the Senate will move to consider tomorrow.

The truth is there exists today something that you could legitimately call modern-day slavery, and that is human trafficking.

Now even though institutionalized slavery has long been cast into the dust bin of history and is something we read about in our history books, human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, still affects the lives of hundreds and thousands of our children.

Tragically, many of them are young girls.

These are children who are bought and sold for sex, plain and simple.

The people who purchase these services too often pay a fine and get on with their lives. Yet they are child rapists who should be treated as the sex traffickers they are.

The bill is called the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and the most important thing that it does is it ends the culture of impunity for the people who purchase children and other victims of human trafficking. It holds the so-called "Johns" and the pimps accountable and doesn't focus on the victim who should be treated like a victim and helped to heal and get on with their lives.

We know that Washington can be a dysfunctional place, more times than we'd like to admit. And so often there are political issues or ideological issues that divide us. But the fight against human trafficking reminds us that it doesn't have to be this way.

It is a fight, sadly, that must be acknowledged and it must be fought. But it's a fight we can win, finally delivering our nation's promise of freedom to those who are enslaved.


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