Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is not limited to distant foreign countries, but currently exists in every state of the United States. Myself, and my colleagues in the House of Representatives have been actively working to raise awareness and address this serious criminal offense that violates human dignity.
My experience on the House Education and Workforce Committee has allowed me to recognize that employees at the Department of Labor are often on the front line of investigating workforce law violations. In July, 2017, the House passed my bill, H.R.2664, the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act. This bipartisan bill ensures Department of Labor employees have the education they need to identify the signs of human trafficking, assist victims, and properly refer cases to law enforcement so perpetrators can be brought to justice.
In April 2017, the Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R.1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act, and in May 2017 it passed the House. I was pleased that the bill included language that I have long championed, to assist the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) the in their ability to help law enforcement agencies and first responders identify, locate, and recover victims of child sex trafficking.
In addition, I am a cosponsor of H.R.466, the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act, which would seek to hold foreign countries accountable when they fail to take serious efforts to address the link between commercial sex and human trafficking.
Furthermore, during the 115th Congress, I supported and the House passed numerous bills in an effort to curtail human trafficking. Some of those bills include:
- H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which gives law enforcement officials and families that ability to shut down online marketplaces where individuals are trafficked, while instituting stronger penalties on those who knowingly facilitate and enable the crimes to be committed.
- H.R. 2200, Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 – would reauthorize federal anti-human trafficking and victims assistance programs.
- H.R. 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act ensures that youth-serving organizations have access to national background checks on prospective staff and volunteers. Currently, many youth-serving organizations only have access to state-level background check systems and this bill enables access to the FBI’s national database.
- H.R. 883, the Targeting Child Predators Act would require Internet Service Providers to wait 180 days before notifying customers in child predator cases of a law enforcement inquiry. Under current law, the provider may notify the user of the law enforcement inquiry, allowing the alleged child predator to destroy critical evidence. This bill would give law enforcement a limited window of time to properly investigate suspected predators.
- H.R. 1188, the Adam Walsh Act, reauthorizes two primary programs—the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and Sex Offender management Assistance Program—for five years and makes targeted changes to make the system more efficient and just. These programs help prevent child abuse by ensuring the public has access to information on known sex offenders who may live in their neighborhood.
1/12/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.466, Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act
1/24/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R. 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act
4/06/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.1808, Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017.
5/25/2017 – Sponsor: H.R.2664, Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act.
7/28/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.1865, Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act
News and Videos
07/13/2017 – WLNS: Walberg anti-human trafficking bill passes House
07/12/2017 – Walberg Champions Bipartisan Bill to Combat Human Trafficking
07/12/2017 – House Passes Walberg’s Bipartisan Bill to Fight Human Trafficking
07/12/2017 – USA Today: House Passes Sweeping Overhaul of Law to Combat Human Trafficking
06/14/2017 – Jackson Cit Pat op-ed: Taking Action to Tackle Human Trafficking
05/23/2017 – Walberg: Strengthen Support for Missing and Exploited Children
02/03/2016 – WLNS: Walberg Introduces Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation
02/03/2016 – Walberg Introduces Legislation to Combat Human Trafficking
National Human Trafficking Hotline:1-888-373-7888 or Text INFO or HELP to BeFREE (233733)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons