BRADENTON – Human trafficking is the fastest growing arm of organized crime and the second-largest criminal industry in the world. The United States is estimated to have 2.5 million human trafficking victims living within its borders, while Florida has been identified as a hub for this vile enterprise.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, our state reported the country’s third-highest number of trafficking felonies in 2011. Congressman Vern Buchanan has co-sponsored legislation he hopes will help to eliminate the dubious distinction.
"In a country founded on principles of freedom, it is a sad reality that hundreds of thousands of women and children are victims of human trafficking in the United States," said Buchannan in a release. "These atrocities must be addressed."
The End Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 2805) aims to help law enforcement detect, investigate and prosecute sex trafficking predators in the U.S. The bipartisan measure will allow for more aggressive punishment of offenders by expanding prohibitions against sex trafficking in the federal criminal code.
In recognition of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Buchanan is urging House leaders to bring the bill to the Floor for an immediate vote.
"Too many innocent lives remain at risk to allow this gruesome criminal industry to continue," he said.
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