CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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UPDATE: Himes votes to pass Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

May 19, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) voted to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), legislation that provides a strong, comprehensive response to the rampant problem of human trafficking. The bill cracks down on traffickers and those who support them, funds prevention and victim support efforts and improves law enforcement training programs.  The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act passed the House 420-3 and now goes to the President to be signed into law.

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world, behind only the illegal drug trade, and forces millions of men, women, and children into a life of modern-day slavery. Increased reports of labor and sex trafficking in communities across our country, especially among immigrants and children, have made it clear that we needed a powerful response to prevent and combat these heinous crimes.

Last month, Himes hosted a roundtable discussion with a panel of experts focused on combating human trafficking. The event was held at the International Institute of Connecticut’s Stamford office and featured speakers from the International Institute of Connecticut, a statewide non-profit organization that provides services to immigrants and refugees; Save the Children, the international non-governmental organization providing aid and relief for children; the Homeland Security Investigations team at the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency; and the National Security and Major Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

“Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world, only behind the illegal drug trade, and forces millions of men, women and children into a life of modern-day slavery,” Himes said. “Increased reports of labor and sex trafficking in the United States in recent years, especially among immigrants and children, underscore the need for a powerful response in our communities and government to prevent and combat these heinous crimes. I hope today’s discussion can raise awareness of this terrible practice, help connect victims and survivors to support services they deserve and help put an end human trafficking in Connecticut and across the country.” 

“We are pleased to be participating in and hosting today’s discussion in Stamford. Along with our colleagues from across the state here today, we are committed to eradicating human trafficking in Connecticut. We have received grant support from the Department of Justice for nearly ten years to carry out our work with survivors of human trafficking. These victims are incredibly brave and resilient, but the number we’ve seen in recent years has increased and that is frightening,” Alicia Kinsman, Managing Attorney of the Legal Services Program at the International Institute of Connecticut said. “Human trafficking is a horrendous practice, but we have the power to stop it. This discussion can help do that by informing members of our community about human trafficking, how to prevent it and how to support the victims of such heinous crimes. With this knowledge, we can work together to put a stop to human trafficking in our state.”

For photos of the event, please click here. To watch a video of the event, click here.