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House Passes Sex Trafficking Bill

The House approved by voice vote and sent
to the Senate a bill that would increase the
penalties for sex traffickers and offer more
protection within the United States for victims
of the sex industry.

The bill, authored by Rep. Chris Smith
(R-NJ) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH),
authorizes $94.5 million over two years,
including $75 million for victim assistance and
international programs designed to raise
awareness of sexual trafficking in women and
girls. The bill also includes a requirement that
the president establish an international task
force to monitor and combat sex trafficking.

Nearly 50,000 women and girls are brought
into the United States each year for sexual
exploitation. Under this measure, traffickers
could face life imprisonment in cases involving
kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or
attempted murder.

Media Resources: The Associated Press - 10 May 2000, and