Legislative Efforts

Legislative EffortsPart of our mission is to encourage legislators, law enforcement, and the public to contribute to the fight to end Human Trafficking. We visit legislators to encourage their support for stronger laws against Human Trafficking. For instance, we visited several NC Representatives and Senators when the Safe Harbor legislation was being discussed. (And thankfully, it passed!) We encourage citizens (through speaking engagements and our e-newsletter) to contact their representatives and provide the contact information to make it easy to do so.

Current Legislative Issues:

State

We believe that NC law should require that the Human Trafficking Hotline number be posted at businesses where victims are often found. Examples include: truck stops, strip clubs, bars, bus stops, airports, train stations, and others.

Federal

We believe that websites that profit from advertising victims of human trafficking should be held accountable. In 2015, the SAVE Act was a part of a larger Congressional effort to raise awareness about human trafficking and prevent its victims from further exploitation. The SAVE Act criminalizes those who knowingly advertise or profit from advertisements that offer the commercial exploitation of trafficking victims. Unfortunately, according to Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), the bill’s own author, the SAVE Act is not being enforced.

The reason this bill is not being enforced is a conflicting statute, passed in 1996. This law, the Communications Decency Act, says websites can’t be held accountable for what third parties post on their sites. This allows them to turn a blind eye and avoid responsibility when traffickers advertise on their website. The provision takes the bite out of the SAVE Act, not allowing investigators to go after websites that advertise trafficking victims.

We must urge lawmakers to amend the Communications Decency Act if we want to see viable changes to trafficking and exploitation in the US. Join us in asking Congress to fix the Communications Decency Act so that state and local law enforcement agencies have the authority to arrest and prosecute websites that advertise human trafficking victims on websites.

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