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Preventing Child Trafficking: Congress Takes A Crucial Step Forward



There’s no question that human trafficking of the most vulnerable among us remains a prevalent threat to communities across this country, with over 3,000 potential child victims reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2021 alone. Even with such staggering evidence, we know many cases of child labor or sex abuse go unreported, leaving kids of all ages at risk of constant harm. Lawmakers must act quickly to ensure our Nation meets its lofty goals of ensuring liberty and freedom for our next generation. 


Thankfully, CPAC’s Center for Combating Human Trafficking is not alone in this fight as government leaders step up to protect our most important asset: our young people. Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlined critical recommendations for combating human trafficking, particularly of children under 18. These included improved collaboration between the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) and the establishment of clear goals to assist the specific needs of child trafficking victims. Despite these clear objectives, the current administration has failed to act. President Biden's policy of lax border enforcement creates opportunities for traffickers to exploit vulnerable individuals, including children on both sides of the border. At the same time, Federal agencies continue to come up short in supporting their State and local partners who encounter and often rescue these at-risk children. 


This is why CPAC was proud to join Senator Grassley in advancing new legislation that would mandate the Federal government prioritize protecting our country’s young men and women. The "Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024" is a straightforward proposal that requires the executive branch to implement the recommendations from the GAO report in the immediate future. Through prioritizing funding for victims’ services, placing more time and attention on the needs of at-risk youth, and ensuring that Federal agencies are coordinating with those working on the ground, this transformative legislation takes significant steps in protecting our most vulnerable. Now is the time for our government to take the lead in ending child trafficking, and CPAC’s Center for Combating Human Trafficking stands ready to make real change in the fight to end modern day slavery. 


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