Youth for Human Rights Pledges Grassroots Support for International Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiative in 2020

Florida youth visiting Congress

Youth for Human Rights chapter from a Florida school advocating for human rights

Youth for Human Rights members from Oregon visiting the Oregon Congressional offices

Youth for Human Rights members from Oregon visiting the Oregon Congressional offices

Youth doing Congressional visits to support anti-trafficking legislation

Youth for Human Rights advocates at the U.S. Congress for a “Hill Day” doing Congressional visits to support anti-trafficking legislation

Youth for Human Rights Advocates visiting Members of Congress in support of human trafficking legislation

Youth for Human Rights Advocates visiting Members of Congress in support of human trafficking legislation

New York advocates

Youth for Human Rights advocate from New York visiting office of Senator Kristen Gillibrand

The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act is a bipartisan initiative that combats the demand that inevitably leads to human trafficking and even sex "tourism"

We need to change the way society responds to sex trafficking and change the culture to stop promoting that it is acceptable to buy sex from people who are mostly victims of sex trafficking”
— Erica Rodgers, Director for Youth for Human Rights National Office in DC
WASHINGTON, DC, US, January 2, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Youth for Human Rights National Office announced today its pledge to activate grassroots support through its U.S. chapters to help prevent global human trafficking through the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act (HR 4326) introduced by Representatives Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08).

Representatives Wagner and Jeffries released the following statements after they introduced the bill proposing an amendment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to reduce demand for commercial sex acts under the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“Combating sex trafficking requires an all-of-the-above approach that fights not just the pimps who sell trafficking victims, but also the buyers who choose to exploit victims. Criminalizing the purchase of commercial sex acts and ending illegal sex ‘tourism’ are key to reducing the demand for trafficking victims and eliminating the worldwide sex trafficking trade.” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-02)

“Sex trafficking is a heinous human rights violation that affects more than 4.5 million victims across the globe. The bipartisan Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act aims to prevent the global demand for commercial sex and sex tourism in order to reduce the number of trafficking victims. Rep. Wagner should be commended for her commitment in this regard.” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08)

According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is “modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” The victims of this crime in the U.S. are men and women, adults and children, foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. Victims are of all genders, ages, races, countries, socioeconomic statuses, etc.

The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act would work to reduce demand for participation in international sex tourism by increasing awareness and educating potential buyers of commercial sex and how traffickers exploit prostituted persons. The intention is to prohibit the purchase of commercial sex acts by penalizing countries that allow human trafficking to go on without consequence by labeling the countries with poor grades in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

“We need to change the way society responds to sex trafficking and change the culture to stop promoting that it is acceptable to buy sex from people who are mostly victims of sex trafficking,” Erica Rodgers, Director for Youth for Human Rights International National Office in Washington, DC, stated. “This piece of legislation has the potential to dramatically reduce human trafficking in the U.S. and world wide by appropriately punishing buyers of commercial sex from victims of trafficking.”

Youth for Human Rights is also encouraging other human rights groups and advocacy groups who work to reduce human trafficking to support Representatives Wagner and Jeffries in gaining more cosponsors for the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act.

Current cosponsors on the bill are:
Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY)
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa)
Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA)
Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL)
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-NJ)
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY)
Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-IA)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, JR (D-GA)

About Youth for Human Rights:

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace. YHRI teaches human rights education both in the classroom and in nontraditional educational settings such a through art series, concerts and other interactive community events, including regional and international human rights summits bringing youth together from across whole sectors of the world. Their most recent campaign has included #KnowYour30 with the deliberate purpose of increasing awareness of the 30 human rights every person has -- and how they are a part of everyday life. To learn more go to https://www.youthforhumanrights.org or watch a documentary on how Youth for Human Rights began. (https://www.scientology.tv/series/voices-for-humanity/mary-shuttleworth.html)


COPY OF THE BILL:

116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4326

To amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 relating to
determinations with respect to efforts of foreign countries to reduce
demand for commercial sex acts under the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking.


_______________________________________________________________________


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 12, 2019

Mrs. Wagner (for herself, Mr. Jeffries, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, and
Mr. Walberg) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

A BILL



To amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 relating to
determinations with respect to efforts of foreign countries to reduce
demand for commercial sex acts under the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:
(1) It has been the longstanding position of the United
States to reduce the demand for sex trafficking victims. There
is also a wide international consensus on the necessity of
demand reduction in order to prevent human trafficking.
(2) The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children,
Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against
Transnational Organized Crime of 2000 (also referred to as the
``Palermo Protocol(s)'') expressly addresses the requirement
that nations make serious efforts to reduce demand for
trafficked persons.
(3) Article 9, addressing prevention of human trafficking,
specifically directs that, ``States Parties shall adopt or
strengthen legislative or other measures, such as educational,
social or cultural measures, including through bilateral and
multilateral cooperation, to discourage the demand that fosters
all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and
children, that leads to trafficking.''.
(4) The United Nations Protocol, the Europe Convention on
Action against Human Trafficking, and the 2011 European Union
Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on
preventing and combating trafficking in human beings also
specifically address the need to prevent human trafficking by
reducing demand for trafficking victims.
(5) Research has shown that legal prostitution increases
the demand for prostituted persons and thus increases the
market for sex. As a result, there is a significant increase in
instances of human trafficking.
(6) In 2012, researchers Seo-Young Cho, Axel Dreher, and
Eric Neumayer published their findings in World Development
establishing that, ``The scale effect of legalized prostitution
leads to an expansion of the prostitution market, increasing
human trafficking . . . . On average, countries where
prostitution is legal experience larger reported human
trafficking inflows.''.
(7) In 2005, a study focused on 11 European Union countries
requested by the European Parliament's committee on Women's
Rights and Gender Equality and performed by Transcrime found
that stricter prostitution laws are correlated with fewer human
trafficking victims.
(8) Case studies published by researchers Niklas Jakobsson
and Andreas Kotsadam support the possibility of a causal link
between harsher prostitution laws and reduced human
trafficking. Jakobsson and Kotsadam found that trafficking of
persons for commercial sexual exploitation is least prevalent
in countries where prostitution is illegal and most prevalent
in countries where prostitution is legalized.
(9) Further data has demonstrated the correlation between
the adoption of legislation that criminalizes demand and
reductions in sex trafficking.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENT RELATING TO DETERMINATIONS WITH RESPECT TO EFFORTS OF
FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO REDUCE DEMAND FOR COMMERCIAL SEX
ACTS UNDER THE MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF
TRAFFICKING.

(a) In General.--Paragraph (12) of section 108(b) of the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7106(b)) is
amended to read as follows:
``(12) Whether the government of the country has made
serious and sustained efforts to--
``(A) prohibit the purchase of commercial sex acts
to the extent such prohibition is within the authority
of the central government or implement a policy against
the purchase of commercial sex acts to the extent that
prohibition is not within the authority of the central
government;
``(B) educate buyers of commercial sex on how
traffickers exploit prostituted persons for human
trafficking; and
``(C) reduce demand for participation in
international sex tourism by nationals of the
country.''.
(b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) takes
effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and applies with
respect to determinations under subsection (a)(4) of section 108 of the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 that are made on or after
such date of enactment.
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Erica Rodgers
Youth for Human Rights International - National Office
+1 202-667-6404
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