Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) released the following statements after they introduced the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act, legislation to reduce demand for sex trafficking worldwide.
“The pandemic has exacerbated sex trafficking across the United States and in nations across the globe. Combatting this horrific crime requires a global effort to prohibit the commercial sex trade that exploits children and the most vulnerable in our society,” said Wagner. “My legislation would ensure foreign countries take deliberate action to reduce the demand for trafficking and help us target the worldwide sex trafficking trade. Victims rely on our help during this incredibly uncertain time, and it up to us to be their advocate in a time of great need.”
“As a mother, there’s nothing more horrifying than the thought of young women and children falling victim to sex trafficking. This heinous crime is happening right here in Eastern Washington, and we must do something to stop it,” said Rodgers. “This legislation will take an important first step by withholding assistance to foreign countries that fail to take serious action to reduce sex trafficking and hold accountable those who allow this deplorable trade to continue unabated. It’s well-past time for Congress to take action. The lives of innocent women and children depend on it.”
“Since coming to Congress a major focus of mine has been on doing all we can to end the horror of human trafficking,” said Crenshaw. “I’m proud to join Rep. Wagner on this important legislation to attack the demand for trafficking by requiring the Trafficking In Persons report including demand reduction efforts and I look forward to this House passing this bill and protecting the victims of trafficking.”
“Worldwide, the only way to prevent sex trafficking is to target the demand for prostitution. No country that normalizes or legalizes the sex trade should be Tier 1 in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. NCOSE is happy to endorse the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act to introduce reality into the State Department’s ratings system.” – Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
“This bill recognizes that effectively combatting the demand for commercial sex is the only way we will ever make real progress in the fight to prevent and eliminate sex trafficking globally. Addressing demand and the monetary source of sex trafficking worldwide is crucial in the efforts to reduce the ‘supply’ of victims being pulled into this violent and exploitative industry. Demand reduction is key to uprooting the exploitation of the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable populations.” – Helen Taylor, Vice President of Impact at Exodus Cry
Prevention efforts are essential to eradicating the scourge of human trafficking. The international community, scholars, NGOs, International Organizations, human trafficking experts, and other governments have all recognized that one of the most critical components of preventing human trafficking from occurring is reducing the demand for trafficked persons. This bill would amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to reflect the need to prevent sex trafficking by reducing the demand for commercial sex.
Read the one-pager on this legislation here for more information.