NewsPolitics & Government

Grassley, Ossoff Introduce Legislation to Combat Child Trafficking

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen federal child trafficking prevention initiatives. The Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024 would enhance cooperation among federal agencies by requiring the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) anti-trafficking recommendations.

Grassley is a staunch advocate for trafficking victims. Grassley and Ossoff authored a law to strengthen federal prosecution for those guilty of child sex trafficking. In January 2023, Grassley’s legislation to enhance human trafficking prevention programs was signed into law. Grassley is also calling on federal agencies to act on evidence of suspected trafficking of unaccompanied migrant children.

“The federal government can and must do more to prevent children from falling prey to the evils of human trafficking. By strengthening collaboration between federal agencies, our bill aims to more effectively prevent future instances of trafficking, prosecute criminals and safeguard vulnerable children,” Grassley said.

“Child trafficking in Georgia and nationwide is a crisis. That’s why I’m introducing this bipartisan bill to strengthen federal protections for vulnerable children and increase support for victims of trafficking,” Ossoff said.

Background:

GAO’s report, written in response to a Republican-led inquiry, found that agencies within the DOJ and HHS lack collaboration mechanisms dedicated solely to combatting child trafficking. The report notes that this type of collaboration is a critical first line of defense against trafficking, as it would allow federal agencies to address the distinct needs of child trafficking survivors while minimizing fragmentation of agency efforts.

Specifically, the Preventing Child Trafficking Act would:

  • Set a timeline for the implementation of GAO’s anti-trafficking recommendations
  • Ensure that agencies within the DOJ and HHS establishes a mechanism to guide the offices’ anti-child trafficking collaboration efforts
  • Require the DOJ to develop achievable performance goals for anti-child trafficking programs

The legislation is endorsed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is proud to support the Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024,” said Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC President & CEO. “We thank Senator Ossoff and Senator Grassley for their continued leadership on legislative initiatives to protect children from sexual exploitation and their work to ensure collaborative efforts to combat child sex trafficking are maximized.”

Bill text is available HERE.

ADVERTISEMENT

Back to top button