WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) voted for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), to enhance law enforcement tools and support victims of human trafficking. Senator Ernst released the following statement upon passage:
“Today marks an important step to combat the spread of human and sex trafficking. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the human rights crisis happening across the country.
“The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act provides the much needed support to victims of this modern day slavery. It also enhances law enforcement’s ability to bring perpetrators to justice and brings forward stiffer penalties for criminals.
“As a mother and grandmother, I am deeply pleased to see this bipartisan agreement move forward, and I will continue working to see such violence eliminated.”
Senator Ernst has been working to move forward on passage of the anti-human trafficking bill for more than a month.
About the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:
- The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act provides law enforcement with the tools to crack down on human traffickers while also helping victims restore their lives
- Improves law enforcement’s ability to target and bring to justice those who purchase sex or labor from a trafficking victim
- Creates a deficit-neutral Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund
- Recognizes child pornography production as a form of human trafficking
- Requires traffickers to be treated as violent criminals for purposes of pre-trial release, monitoring and detention
- Streamlines the ability of state and local task forces to obtain wiretap warrants in order to investigate crimes
- Creates a Human Trafficking Advisory Council composed of survivors to formulate recommendations to the federal government
- The bill is supported by a number of organizations, including Shared Hope International; Human Rights 4 Girls; Fraternal Order of Police; National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; National Children’s Alliance; National Criminal Justice Association; End Child Prostitution and Trafficking; PROTECT; National Association of Police Organizations; and National Conference of State Legislatures
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