Rep. Kristi Noem today delivered remarks at the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, “The State of Efforts to Stop Human Trafficking.”  Click here to view the video.

“I was very pleased to invite Rep. Kristi Noem to today’s hearing to listen to witness testimony and share her own experiences in South Dakota with the Subcommittee and panelists,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, Chairman of the Subcommittee.  “Kristi has become a key leader in Congress on the issue of human trafficking and as a mother she brings a necessary and valuable perspective to the conversation.  I look forward to continuing to partner with her as we work to put an end to this unconscionable industry.”

Earlier this week, Rep. Noem hosted the Justice Against Slavery Summit in Sioux Falls, SD, to raise awareness, learn best practices, and gather concrete ideas on what can be done to better combat trafficking.  Because the issue of sex trafficking is a multifaceted problem that requires a multifaceted solution, Rep. Noem brought together a diverse group of survivors, law enforcement officers, parents, faith-based organizations, school administrators and others to participate in the Summit.

“Sex trafficking is happening in our backyard,” said Rep. Noem.  “It’s happening in our schools, at malls and truck stops, and on Facebook and Twitter.  Kids are being recruited in broad daylight, not just in dark back alleys.  We cannot stand by and allow this evil to triumph.  I thank Chairman Wolf for his leadership on this issue and the opportunity to address the attendees of today’s hearing.  We must act to  stop human trafficking in its tracks, bring the criminals to justice, and help survivors rebuild their lives.”

Rep. Noem has co-sponsored a series of anti-trafficking bills, many of which could be included in a broader anti-trafficking package that is expected to be voted on in the House sometime this spring.  The legislation she is supporting include:

  • End Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 2805).  This proposal clarifies the law to make it clear that criminals who solicit or obtain the services of a trafficking victim should be arrested, prosecuted and convicted. 
  • Stop Exploitation through Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 3610).  This legislation would establish safe harbor laws across the country, which require that minors engaged in prostitution are treated as trafficking victims, not criminals. 
  • Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act (H.R. 2744).  Because children in foster care are at greater risk of becoming a victim of sex trafficking, H.R. 2744 would ensure any missing children in foster care and adoption assistance are reported to authorities for entry into the National Crime Information Center of the FBI within 24 hours.  The legislation would also require states to develop plans to address human trafficking within the foster care system and better identify the victims of sex trafficking who are under the state’s care.
  • Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act (H.R. 4058).  This legislation would work to improve the way that states monitor and share information for children in foster care.  The proposal also encourages states to do more to move kids out of foster care and into an adoptive home or permanent living situation.

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