February 24, 2010

CARDIN SAYS ALL AMERICANS MUST TAKE STEPS TO END MODERN-DAY SLAVERY IN THE U.S. AND WORLDWIDE

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) made the following remarks following a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee, entitled " In Our Own Backyard: Child Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the United States .   Senator Cardin is a member of the Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee.

 

"Today's testimony is a siren call that the problem of child trafficking for prosecution in the United States is greater than what many recognize.   All Americans, Congress and the Administration must take additional steps to end this scourge of modern-day slavery in our own backyard.

 

"I commend Chairman Durbin for holding this important hearing today on domestic child prostitution and sex trafficking in the U.S.  I also honor the courage of the victims and dedication of the prosecutors and advocates who testified.

 

"As Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) I am dedicated to ending human trafficking, including the trafficking of children.  I was with Secretary of State Clinton when the 2009 Trafficking in Person Report was released.  The statistics are appalling: at least 12.3 million people - hundreds of thousands of children -- are victims of some form of trafficking worldwide.   This horrific crime is happening around the world and right here at home.

 

"Congress took another major step forward in 2008 to combat sex trafficking by passing the William Wilberforce Trafficking Protection Reauthorization Act.  The Act strengthens penalties against trafficking and improves services for trafficking victims.  I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation and work for its passage in the Judiciary Committee with former Senator Biden."