WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House of Representatives passed the Human Trafficking Prevention Act unanimously. Introduced by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), the bipartisan legislation will require the posting of the contactinformation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the restrooms of all U.S. ports of entry, airplanes, airports, trains, train stations, busses and bus stations so that any victim, or anyone who notices a potential victim of human trafficking, knows who to reach out to for help.
Human Trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world. In 2020, there were approximately 11,000 situations of human trafficking that were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline involving 16,658 individual victims. Due to the nature of this crime, instances of human trafficking are underreported making it difficult to reach those who are in danger. As a result, human traffickers often use the transportation systems to perpetrate this heinous crime with little fear that they will be reported.
“A phone call or text can save a life and stop an individual from being trafficked. But, to make that contact, you need to know who to contact. The National Human Trafficking Hotline does lifesaving work to stop such crimes and provide support to victims, and we must spread their information as far and wide as possible,” said Rep. Jeffries. “I thank the tremendous leadership of Reps. Issa, Bass and Mace and all my colleagues in the House who supported this lifesaving legislation to post the contact information of the Hotline across our nation’s transportation infrastructure.”
“The scourge of human trafficking has reached every corner of this country and grows worse every day. That’s why we need creative, bipartisan consensus and national solutions to fight back and help rescue these victims,” said Rep. Issa. “This new reform can make a major difference, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do even more.”
“Human trafficking is a crime that often goes unnoticed in our communities”, said Rep. Mace. “Even something as simple as knowing who to call can help a victim free themselves from this horrific crime. Unfortunately, South Carolina is no stranger to these tragedies. In my own backyard of Goose Creek, 28 people faced human trafficking charges just last year. Thanks to the bipartisan leadership and unanimous support from my colleagues, we can ensure perpetrators of this heinous crime are held accountable and victims can receive the help they need.”
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a toll-free service connecting victims and survivors of trafficking to critical support and resources. The Hotline provides both a toll-free phone line and SMS text lines which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English, Spanish or in more than 200 additional languages through an on-call interpreter.
Contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at: 1-888-373-7888, TTY: 711, Text: 233733