News/US/Legislation: H.R. 3154- COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT OF 1999

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Subject: News/US/Legislation: H.R. 3154- COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT OF 1999
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Nov 21 1999 - 23:13:02 EST


You can get a complete copy of the Bill

H.R. 3154- COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT OF 1999

BACKGROUND:

Trafficking in human beings is one of the worst human rights violations
of our time. The United States and the international community condemn
trafficking in human beings, an industry that forces victims into
modern-day slavery. More than one million people, predominantly women
and children, are trafficked around the world each year. U.S.
Intelligence Agencies estimate that 45-50,000 women and children are
trafficked into the United States, primarily from the Former Soviet
Union and Southeast Asia.

Trafficking networks, dominated by organized criminal groups, lure or
force victims into the industry using various schemes. Traffickers buy
young girls from relatives, kidnap children from their homes, or lure
women with false promises of earning money overseas as dancers, maids,
factory workers, sales clerks or models. Traffickers then use tactics
including rape, starvation, torture, extreme physical brutality and
psychological abuse to force victims to work under slavery-like
conditions as prostitutes, in sweatshops, or as domestic servants.

No comprehensive law exists in the United States that penalizes the
range of offenses involved in the trafficking scheme. Existing U.S.
laws and infrastructure are not sufficient to deter trafficking and
protect domestic trafficking victims. H.R. 3154, the Comprehensive
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 1999, aims to combat all form of
trafficking in human beings in the United States and countries around
the world through prevention, prosecution and enforcement against
traffickers, and protection and assistance to trafficking victims.

SUMMARY OF BILL:

· Strong prevention provisions, requiring the President to act through
various agencies to carry out initiatives to prevent trafficking in the
United States and abroad, including those designed to enhance economic
opportunity and increase public awareness among potential trafficking
victims.

· Strong assistance provisions for domestic and international
trafficking victims, including measures to expand existing domestic
services to meet the needs of trafficking victims in the United States
and the creation of a humanitarian, non-immigrant visa classification
for domestic trafficking victims. The Secretary of State and
Administrator for AID also are required to take steps to support foreign
countries in their efforts to protect and re-integrate trafficking
victims.

· Strong prosecution and enforcement tools against traffickers operating
in the United States, including criminalization of all forms of
trafficking in human beings and stiff penalties against traffickers, up
to life imprisonment.

 · Discretionary authority to the President to impose sanctions against
individuals involved in trafficking and countries that show little or no
evidence of progress in reducing trafficking, enforcing anti-trafficking
laws or protecting trafficking victims.

· Inter-Agency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, comprised
of cabinet-level members and chaired by the Secretary of State. The
Task Force is created to coordinate U.S. Government implementation of
the Act, measure domestic and international progress in reducing
trafficking, increase data collection, and build regional and local
capacities of countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent
trafficking, enforce anti-trafficking laws and protect trafficking
victims.

· Expanded coverage on trafficking in Department of State’s Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices, with greater detail on the nature and
extent of trafficking in each country and separate treatment on
trafficking within each country report.

· $53 million authorized for FY 2001 and again for FY 2002 for
anti-trafficking programs and initiatives, including $3 million for the
Inter-Agency Task Force, $10 million for the President to institute
prevention initiatives, $10 million for HHS, $10 million for Department
of State, $10 million for Department of Labor, and $10 million for
Department of Justice.

BI-PARTISAN CO-SPONSORSHIP

· The following Representatives are co-sponsors of H.R. 3154

 1. Louise Slaughter
2. Tom Lantos
3. Howard Berman
4. Gary Ackerman
5. Eni Faleomavaega
6. Mathew Martinez
7. Donald Payne
8. Robert Menendez
9. Sherrod Brown
10. Cynthia McKinney
11. Alcee Hastings
12. Pat Danner
13. Earl Hilliard
14. Brad Sherman
15. Robert Wexler
16. Steve Rothman
17. Jim Davis
18. Earl Pomeroy

19. William Delahunt
20. Greg Meeks
21. Barbara Lee
22. Joseph Crowley
23. Joseph Hoeffel
24. Peter King
25. Amo Houghton
26. Marty Meehan
27. Maxine Waters
28. John Cooksey
29. Nancy Pelosi
30. Rosa De Lauro
31. Eleanor Holmes Norton
32. Jim Moran
33. Lucille Roybal-Allard
34. George Miller
35. Marcy Kaptur
36. Carolyn Kilpatrick

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
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