House approves: Landmark trafficking legislation headed to President

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in News


Last week, the US House of Representatives followed the Senate’s lead and voted 420-3 in support of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, the first comprehensive bill to address the domestic trafficking of American citizens.

From back alleys to, suburbs to cyber sites, human beings—mostly women and children—are bought and sold for sex in every corner of our country. No matter the medium, there’s one constant: demand. Most sex buyers have the resources and good sense to make a different choice. Too often, they make the choice to commit an exploitative crime that fuels a harmful enterprise tied to drug addiction, street violence, gangs, and other pressing societal challenges.

Demand Abolition applauds Congress for recognizing that sex buying is a choice buyers make, one that perpetuates an illegal and deeply damaging industry that harms tens of thousands of vulnerable victims in our own communities.

The JVTA provides much needed funding for survivor services—paid for with dollars from convicted buyers and other criminals—as well as new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including an amendment that redefines sex buyers as sex traffickers under federal law. The legislation also creates a new US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking—with at least eight trafficking survivors—to make recommendations to the federal government on anti-trafficking strategies, including increased accountability for sex buyers who cause extensive harm to those they exploit.

As the bill now heads to the President’s desk, Congress is sending a clear message, one that Demand Abolition has long advocated—no buyer, no business. We take away the buyers, we take away the abuse.