Congressman Blake Farenthold on Protecting Human Trafficking Victims

Last Wednesday, during the House debate on HR 5081, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2014, I spoke on the floor in order to support this bill that helps identify and protects the victims of child trafficking.

The current estimate is that there over 293,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation due to human trafficking. Many of these violent gangs that traffic children and treat them as sex slaves operate through South Texas. We cannot continue to ignore this problem that is occurring in our own backyard.

This bill will help correct problems in several state child welfare programs that are currently not identifying the victims of child trafficking and will help them give the proper care and support to these abused children.

Too often these children are not seen as victims, and instead they are considered the perpetrators. Even though they have not chosen this lifestyle and left without options to escape it without government assistance. Our law enforcement needs to focus on attacking the people profiting on child trafficking.

After hearing my support of the bill and the end of the debate the House voted in favor for the bill, which will now head to the Senate. I hope Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will see the importance of protecting these victims and help this important piece of legislation become a law.

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