Human Trafficking Bill Passes Through House To Empower Survivors
The Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act recently passed through the House of Representatives. It was passed as part of the larger Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, according to a press release issued by Congressman Mike Honda. The bill creates a legislative advisory council led by survivors of human trafficking. This council will advise policymakers as they create laws and initiatives relating to human trafficking.
This bill was sponsored by Mike Honda, a Democrat from California’s Silicon Valley. “We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the crisis of human trafficking,” he said, adding “Too many people have fallen victims to these heinous acts. The time is now to help the survivors of trafficking and work to eradicate it in the U.S. and across the world. We must take steps to end these atrocities.”
The council established in the bill will be comprised of between eight and 14 people, stipulating that half of the council must be survivors of either sex trafficking or labor trafficking. These survivors do not necessarily need to be American citizens. Other experts from non-governmental agencies will also be able to sit on the council.
Several responsibilities were delegated to the council in this bill. For instance, it will be required to access American policies on human trafficking on at least a yearly basis. Moreover, it will provide recommendations for future policies, and possible changes to current policy.
Council members will not be employees of the US government, but will be members of a non-governmental body providing information to lawmakers. Seats on the council are not paid positions, however, the government will cover traveling expenses related to meetings.
Photo from http://honda.house.gov/