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US House Members Take Action to Limit Human Trafficking

Human trafficking exists in almost every area of the world. Children, youngwomen, and even men can become trapped, and forced into the sex tradeand involuntary labor.

Many Americans think of human trafficking as a problem that exists far awayfrom the United States. But the U.S. government says as many as 17,500people are trafficked within this country every year. That number does notinclude those who are kidnapped and forced to become sex slaves within U.S.borders. Now the House of Representatives has taken action to help thevictims and punish those responsible.

Shandra Woworuntu is a survivor of human trafficking. She met with Housemembers in Washington this week. She spoke in support of damagepayments and other government services to help victims.

Shandra is from Indonesia. She is college educated and worked as a financialspecialist in her country until she lost her job because of political unrest. Shecame to the United States in 2001. At the time, she thought she had beenoffered a job in the hospitality industry. Instead, she was kidnapped at a NewYork airport and forced into sex slavery.

“During my arrival, someone picked me up, and took me into the van. Theytook my passport, they took my hidden ticket, and the same day I wastrafficking into underground sex business.”


Human trafficking survivor Shandra Woworuntu (C) speaks during a news conference with Rep. Ted Poe (L) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney outside the U.S. Capitol May 20, 2014.

Shandra escaped, and her trafficker is now in prison. She received help from a non-profit group. She is now working to make people better informed on theproblem of human trafficking.

The two main parties in the U.S. Congress agreed on five bills to help stateand local governments develop victim-center programs. Under the proposals, the governments would train law enforcement officers to rescue victims, and not treat them as sex workers.

Eric Cantor of Virginia is the House Majority leader.

“And we must confront this issue head on, not just as Republicans, not just asDemocrats, but as dads, as moms, as sisters and brothers. We mustprotect our children.”

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has worked to fight humantrafficking around the world for more than 10 years.

“And there is no crime on Earth more appalling, no offense as terrible, no actof depravity as harmful to the community of a nation and certainly to theindividuals affected.”

The five bills also seek to reduce the demand for human trafficking. They dothis by urging police and judges to treat those who have sex with children ashuman traffickers, not everyday criminals. The average age for girls forcedinto sex slavery is 13. The average age for boys is 12.

内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8246-230614-1.html
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