H.R. 4449, Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2014

H.R. 4449

Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2014

Sponsor
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Date
July 23, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4449, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2014, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4449 was introduced on April 10, 2014 by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The bill was marked up on May 29, 2014 and was ordered reported by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4449 amends federal law to require new minimum human trafficking awareness training for certain foreign service personnel.  Such training must include: 1) a distance learning course on human trafficking issues and the Department of State’s training obligations under this bill, targeted for embassy reporting officers, regional bureaus’ Trafficking in Persons (TIP) coordinators, and their superiors; 2) human trafficking briefings for all ambassadors and deputy chiefs of mission before they depart for their posts; and 3) at least annual reminders to all such personnel at each diplomatic or consular post outside the U.S. on key problems, threats, methods, and warning signs of human trafficking specific to their location, as well as appropriate procedures for reporting such activity.

Background

“[TIP] for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of contemporary international criminal activity.”[1]  Although estimates vary, one statistic projects that between 600,000 and 800,000 individuals are trafficked across international borders each year.  If TIP within a country’s borders is included, an estimated 2-4 million individuals are trafficked annually.[2]  Although human trafficking is a significant U.S. foreign policy concern, these issues and the requirements of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) “remain ‘poorly understood’ among ‘rank-and-file diplomats’ serving in the U.S. foreign service—raising questions regarding the perceived policy priority of human trafficking within the State Department.  Additionally, the OIG report states that ‘Washington briefings for chiefs of missions and their deputies do not always include TIP issues, even though all countries are now covered in the annual TIP report.’”[3]  Presently, diplomatic training on TIP is encouraged, but not required.[4]

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[1] Alison Siskin & Liana Rosen, Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (May 1, 2014) at Summary.
[2] Id. at 7.
[3] Id. at 32.
[4] Id.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 4449 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2015-2019 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.