May 23, 2014 — The House on Tuesday approved multiple bills that aim to curb sex trafficking, all of which were passed with bipartisan support, the New York Times reports (Steinhauer, New York Times, 5/20).
One of the bills (HR 3610), called the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act, would require law enforcement to treat children involved in sex trafficking as victims and not criminals. The measure also would make sex trafficking survivors eligible for Jobs Corps, a vocational and educational program.
Another bill (HR 4058) would require states to identify and protect sex trafficking survivors who are in foster care. A third measure (HR 4573), known as the International Megan's Law, would mandate that the U.S. inform foreign nations when a convicted pedophile travels into their country.
Meanwhile, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (HR 3530) would mandate that people who buy sex victims are prosecuted as serious offenders. It also would boost law enforcement funding to help combat sex trafficking. According to Time, the measure was introduced on Tuesday and passed unanimously.
The fifth measure (HR 4225), called the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act, would make knowingly advertising a child online a federal crime and impose minimum sentencing requirements (Rhodan, Time, 5/20).
According to the Times, several senators from both parties have said they would like to pass similar measures. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is sponsoring one of the Senate companion bills (S 1733), said there is a "strong interest in getting these done in the Senate."
A successful compromise between the House and the Senate on the measures would produce some of the "most significant" legislation on sex trafficking in several years, according to the Times (New York Times, 5/20).