Gardner Legislation Fights Domestic Trafficking

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today successfully led an effort to fight human trafficking, as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s consideration of the End Modern Slavery and Trafficking Initiative Act of 2015 (S.553), a bill introduced by Senator Corker (R-TN), the Chairman of the committee.  Gardner’s amendment to the bill, which passed by voice vote, highlights the alarming rates of human trafficking in the U.S. and calls for increased cooperation among all federal, state, and local governments, law enforcement, non-profits, and private stakeholders to eradicate modern-day slavery from our land. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the bill, as amended, by voice vote and it now awaits consideration before the full Senate.

“While it is important to fight human trafficking abroad, we must first emphasize the importance of leading by example from home,” Gardner said. “At least 100,000 children in the United States are commercially sexually exploited, while as many as 300,000 children are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.  A Department of Justice-funded study in 2012 estimated that there may be as many as 2.5 million workers in the US who are victimized by traffickers. This situation is unacceptable and it should be the policy of the United States to eradicate this evil within our own borders in order to shine a light for our efforts abroad.

“During the committee’s hearings, I highlighted the work of organizations like the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), who are committed to the fight against domestic human trafficking and provide a model for successful federal and local cooperation.  Human trafficking anywhere is a tragedy, and, leading by example, we can move towards ending modern slavery once and for all.”