MR SPEAKER: The crime of Human Trafficking is complex and destructive. It shatters the lives of its survivors and their loved ones. In effort to bring attention to this modern-day form of slavery, we recognize January 11, 2014 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
This multi-billion dollar industry exists in every state. The statistics are stunning and it is essential this national awareness day shed light on this human rights tragedy which occurs in every region across the nation. The impact of this crime affects men, women and children: Approximately 80 percent of all human trafficking victims are women, and nearly half, minors. Overall, there are 21 million individuals who are victims of forced labor in a $32 billion industry that is only second to drug trafficking as the more profitable form of international crime.
Combating Human Trafficking requires commitment and cooperation on all levels of government and among agencies and nonprofits. I see this taking root in my district. I was pleased to attend a meeting at Calvary Church of Souderton teaming up with local nonprofit, Worthwhile Wear- poised to address the issues of shelter and homelessness as they relate to human trafficking prevention and recovery.
The county-wide, Bucks Coalition Against Trafficking, BCAT, created a local resource to raise public awareness and help end this horrendous crime through community education, victim identification and legislative change. BCAT has commemorated their one year anniversary and their outstanding achievements have been recognized by the County of Bucks.
As the federal representative for Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District and member of the Victims Rights Caucus, I am working to support and pass federal laws to end this heinous crime through the introduction of bipartisan legislation that reflects the interests, rights, and needs of victims.
As January 11, 2014 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, every day we must work together, forming a united front, against Human Traffickers and together we can raise public consciousness, prevent violence, protect the vulnerable, support survivors and punish the merciless."
Fitzpatrick, a member of the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus, is a leading advocate for human trafficking awareness and prevention. He is the co-sponsor of the Human Trafficking Reporting Act [H.R. 906], the Child Protection Act of 2013 [H.R. 1690], the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act [H.R. 2283], the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2013 [H.R. 3530], and the End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013 [H.R. 2805]. In September, Fitzpatrick addressed a state Anti-Human Trafficking Seminar in Philadelphia, hosted by Pennsylvania's Office of Homeland Security, about the importance of tackling human trafficking at all levels of government.