WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today commended Senate passage of legislation, H.R. 1865, that will provide law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to obtain justice for human trafficking victims and hold websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking accountable. The bill, which passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 97-2, is now headed to the president’s desk.
“Human trafficking is a heinous crime that happens every day in our country, driven in large part by websites that operate as online marketplaces for sex traffickers,” said Blunt. “For too long, federal law has shielded websites that knowingly profit off the sexual exploitation of trafficking victims. This bill provides law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to seek justice for trafficking victims and hold websites that knowingly facilitate these crimes accountable. I commend Senator Rob Portman and Representative Ann Wagner for their leadership and tireless efforts to combat human trafficking.”
H.R. 1865 was introduced by U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (Mo.) and includes provisions from a similar Senate measure, introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and cosponsored by Blunt. Last week, Blunt spoke on the Senate floor in support of the legislation.
H.R. 1865 passed the House in February by a vote of 388-25. The bill is backed by a broad coalition of anti-trafficking advocates, law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, faith-based advocates, and industry leaders.