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Senate Hears of Sex Trade Atrocities

Sexual trafficking of women and girls appears to have replaced drugs as the dominant illegal trade activity White House officials testifying at a Senate hearing yesterday. Officials estimate that 50,000 women are brought into the United States alone for sexual exploitation.

Theresa Loar, director of the President's Interagency Council on Women pointed to a breakdown of international borders and the expansion of trade as factors driving sex trafficking. Administration officials say their approach has focused on preventing the establishment of the sex trade, providing assistance to victims, and prosecuting traffickers

The House International Relations Committee approved a bill in November that would provide new penalties for international traffickers in women and children such as life imprisonment in cases involving kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or attempted murder.

Media Resources: The Associated Press - February 23, 2000