The White House issued a statement Wednesday morning highlighting H.R. 1865 – Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act – a bill that makes it easier for law enforcement to target websites engaged in sex trafficking.
Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation. It has no place in our world.
President Donald J. Trump
RESOURCES TO END SEX TRAFFICKING: The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), which includes the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA), will give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking.
- FOSTA amends the Communications Act of 1934 to create an exception for sex trafficking, making it easier to target websites with legal action for enabling such crimes. Under the package:
- the “Communications Decency Provisions” can no longer be construed to impair or limit civil action or criminal prosecution relating to sex trafficking; and
- those benefiting from “participating in a venture,” knowingly assisting supporting, or facilitating an act of sex trafficking are now in violation of the Federal criminal code.
- In addition, FOSTA provides new legal recourse for victims and law enforcement alike, by:
- enhancing penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to 25 years, or both—for people who promote or facilitate the prostitution of five or more people or who contribute to sex trafficking through reckless disregard;
- allowing victims or damaged individuals of sex trafficking seek justice against websites that assist in the violation of Federal sex trafficking laws; and
- enabling State law enforcement officials to take action against individuals or businesses that violate Federal sex trafficking laws.
HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING IS AN EPIDEMIC: Human sex trafficking is a plague upon our great Nation and the world.
- Sex trafficking is a global form of modern-day slavery in which individuals are coerced to perform commercial sex acts against their will.
- Per the International Labor Organization, there may be as many as 24.9 million victims of forced labor across the world. Of these, 4.8 million were in forced sexual exploitation.
- Over 99 percent of trafficked individuals trapped in forced sexual exploitation are women.
- Over 21 percent of those trafficked for sex are children.
- The United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children—both United States citizens and foreign nationals—victimized by human trafficking and sex trafficking.
- In FY 2017, DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) initiated 833 human trafficking cases, resulting in 1,602 arrests and 578 convictions, and identified 518 victims of human trafficking.
- Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases in the United States.
- Of the nearly 25,000 runaway children reports to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
- The underground sex economy is a multimillion dollar industry. A 2014 Urban Institute study estimated the combined worth of the underground sex economy in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, D.C., to be between $39.9 and $290 million.
- The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary widely:
- Some are manipulated or forced into prostitution by romantic partners;
- Some are lured in with false job promises, frequently modeling or dancing; and
- Some are forced into prostitution by parents or family members.
- Sex trafficking happens to every population group and occurs in a wide range of venues, including online websites or ads, at varying businesses, and on the street.
CONTINUING TO TAKE ACTION: Signing the FOSTA is a continuation of President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to take the fight to human traffickers.
- The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PTIF) is working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
- In March 2018, in light of the impending passage of FOSTA, Ivanka Trump led a bipartisan, bicameral roundtable discussion on Human Trafficking.
- Also in March 2018, the President appointed nine human trafficking survivors to serve on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking for terms of two years.
- The President designated January 2018 as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” reaffirming his Administration’s commitment to do all in its power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking.
- In September 2017, Ivanka Trump and Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan joined more than 20 world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly for a global call to end modern slavery and to announce the State Department’s $25 million grant to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.
- In February 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13773, “Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organization and Preventing International Trafficking.”