Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane urges Congress to fund efforts to stop modern-day slavery
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has joined 46 other Attorneys General asking Congress to fund anti-human trafficking programs that fight modern-day slavery in the United States and abroad.
The Attorneys General sent a letter to the House and Senate chairpersons of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, requesting that funding be renewed for the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). Established in 2000, the act protects human trafficking victims, assists survivors, improves prevention methods and prosecutes human traffickers.
"Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and it happens right here in the United States," Attorney General Kane said. "Children are forced into prostitution, and sex acts often are videotaped for child pornography, which is an extension of cases my office prosecutes. This funding is needed to help law enforcement continue to identify victims, ensure their safety and prosecute their captors."
Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Victims are forced into the sex industry, domestic servitude or labor exploitation in restaurants, sweatshops and fields, generating a staggering $32 billion a year.
A study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases revealed 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States were U.S. citizens. The average age that U.S. citizens are first used for commercial sex is 12 to 14.
For more information about human trafficking in the United States and abroad, view the most recent Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the TVPRA-established State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.