The Senate will begin discussions this upcoming week on anti-trafficking legislation that would target human traffickers who force children and teenagers into cheap labor and sex work, a bill that's vitally important, Sen. Chuck Grassley said in Saturday's GOP weekly address.
"Too often we hear that this thing just 'doesn't happen where I live,'" said the Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which unanimously agreed to present the bill to the Senate. "The cruel truth is that trafficking is found in all 50 states."
The legislation would establish strong anti-trafficking measures, said Grassley, as any state, whether large like New York or small like his state of Iowa "could be a hub for trafficking."
Grassley said the vote came following "horrific and gut-wrenching stories" from victims and advocates, including stories about children being sold into prostitution and even accounts of girls being "branded by their trafficker."
“We listened to stories about boys and girls who thought the only way to survive was to sell themselves for sex, and then, we heard that when it couldn’t get any lower for these victims, America’s criminal justice system failed them by actually treating them like criminals," said Grassley.
The legislation would expand resources for law enforcement while enhancing services for victims and increasing penalties for perpetrators.
Further, it will ensure that people who engage in such activities will be punished under the full force of the law, said Grassley.
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