While human trafficking is often associated with highly-attended sports events, millions are enslaved and affected by this heinous crime every single day. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) are committed to the global fight against human trafficking and are working to eradicate it once and for all. Catch highlights from their op-ed below, published in Fox News.
“Kimberly Ritter, an anti-sex trafficking advocate, describes the horror: “They take little girls and walk them from truck to truck, they call them lot lizards…”. The girls can be 12 and 15 years old; they are our neighbors, nieces, sometimes our daughters or sisters… The stories are real. Modern day slavery is happening right here in the United States of America…hiding in plain sight.
“While conversations about human trafficking escalate around Super Bowl Sunday, we also know that this heinous practice happens every single day in nearly every city and town across the country. …tens of thousands of women, girls, and boys are trafficked each year in the United States, with millions more falling victim worldwide.
“In May, for the first time in 13 years, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation to address human trafficking…The laws we passed will increase penalties for predators and provide resources for law enforcement… allowing them to prosecute those who knowingly profit from online advertisements that exploit the victims of sex trafficking… Most importantly, this new law will increase the identification of victims and provide support for survivors as they heal and rebuild their lives.
“As legislators, we believe these new laws are a step in the right direction, however more can and must be done. Without awareness and education, many of these victims will never be freed and will be forced to endure a life of endless abuse. We are dedicated to this work, legislatively and beyond, to provide a voice for these victims until human trafficking is eradicated in the United States.”