Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement on 2018 World Day against Trafficking in Persons:
“I join with so many around the world in observing United Nations’ World Day against Trafficking in Persons today. Approximately twenty one million people are victims of trafficking each year, and three quarters of these victims are women and girls. Often, they are lured into this illicit multi-billion dollar industry under false premises or lies and subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation.
“While the most vulnerable children come from regions of the world where there are ongoing humanitarian crises, the United States is one of the top destinations in the world for trafficked victims. Centers of tourism, including Florida, are major destinations for human trafficking victims – many of whom come from our own communities and schools. Florida now has the third highest rate of trafficking in the country, and Broward and Palm Beach Counties rank 1st and 4th respectively for in-state incidences.
“Our region may be a destination for trafficking victims, but it is also a place where heroes fight daily against this human tragedy. I proudly support those in our community who work tirelessly to combat trafficking. People like Mr. Roger DeHart, a devoted public servant who used his vacation time to walk from the Broward County Courthouse to the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness of trafficking earlier this year showcase the power that individuals have in pushing back against trafficking. Others serving on our local task forces and anti-trafficking coalitions work day and night to rescue victims and push back against traffickers. This World Day against Trafficking in Persons let us all work to bring an end to this epidemic of human-caused suffering.”
As Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida delegation, Congressman Alcee. L Hastings has been a strong proponent for anti-trafficking efforts in Florida and across the globe. Earlier this year, he joined with other members of Congress in advocating for additional resources for combatting trafficking. He is also a cosponsor of multiple pieces of legislation regarding trafficking, including: H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, H.R. 53, the CATCH Traffickers Act of 2017, H.R. 2664, the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act, H.R. 3304, the Human Trafficking Accountability Act, and H.R. 466, the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings represents Florida’s 20th district, and serves as a Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida delegation.