Gardner-Backed Legislation to Combat Sex Trafficking Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today helped pass H.R.1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Gardner was a cosponsor of the companion legislation in the Senate, which would clarify existing law that was shielding certain websites and certain individuals that were knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.

“This bipartisan legislation gives the victims of these crimes the justice they deserve against the criminals that carry out these dreadful acts,” said Gardner. “We need to do everything we can to combat sex trafficking and this legislation that will soon be law is a sensible step in the right direction for the victims.”

The legislation was prompted after Senate investigations of the classifieds/advertisement website backpage.com. Criminals were using the website to post advertisements that led to sex trafficking and prostitution and the website was aware that it was being permitted to happen and did not take appropriate action to stop it. Under current interpretation of existing law, the victims of sex trafficking could seek civil action against the individuals but not against the websites facilitating this action. This legislation would give the victims the opportunity to hold these website or third party facilitators accountable.

Additional information about the legislation can be found here. It passed the House 388-25 on February 27th.


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

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