Sens. Ossoff, Grassley Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Human Traffickers  

The month of January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia is a “hotspot” for human trafficking

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is introducing a bipartisan bill to protect children from human traffickers.

Today, during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Sens. Ossoff and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the bipartisan Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024 to strengthen coordination between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prevent child trafficking.

According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report earlier this month, agencies within the Departments collaborate to prevent human trafficking broadly, but there are no mechanisms in place to collaborate specifically on child trafficking prevention. Improving collaboration would “enable the offices to overcome challenges specific to children and meet the distinct needs of child trafficking survivors,” the GAO report said.

“Child trafficking in Georgia and nationwide is a crisis. That’s why I’m introducing this bipartisan bill to strengthen Federal protections for vulnerable children and increase support for victims of trafficking,” Sen. Ossoff said.

According to news reports, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has warned that Georgia is a hotspot for human trafficking with a large international airport, easy access to highways across major cities, and several large sporting events.

“The federal government can and must do more to prevent children from falling prey to the evils of human trafficking. By strengthening collaboration between federal agencies, our bill aims to more effectively prevent future instances of trafficking, prosecute criminals and safeguard vulnerable children,” Grassley said.

The bipartisan Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024 is endorsed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is proud to support the Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024,” said Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC President & CEO. “We thank Senator Ossoff and Senator Grassley for their continued leadership on legislative initiatives to protect children from sexual exploitation and their work to ensure collaborative efforts to combat child sex trafficking are maximized.”

Sen. Ossoff continues working to protect children from abuse and trafficking.

In December, Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan REPORT Act to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation passed the U.S. Senate.

In September, Sens. Ossoff and Blackburn launched an inquiry with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the FBI’s capacity to investigate and respond to crimes involving child sexual abuse and exploitation, highlighting a June 2023 report to Congress in which the DOJ cited an international threat assessment demonstrating that “the growth in online child sexual exploitation is outpacing our ability to respond.”

Last month, Sens. Ossoff and Grassley’s bipartisan Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act of 2023 was signed into law, which will strengthen Federal protections against the sexual abuse of children, including online exploitation.

Click here to read the Preventing Child Trafficking Act of 2024.

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