March 12, 2019

Washington, DC – Representative John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement today after the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act of 2019 (H.R. 295), a bill he has sponsored, passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The legislation seeks to combat human trafficking by taking aim at traffickers’ finances. It aims to create global norms for preventing financial transactions connected to human trafficking.

“The scourge of human trafficking must be fought from every angle,” said Curtis. “I was proud to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help introduce this legislation that will choke off traffickers’ access to financial institutions and was pleased to see it receive unanimous support from the Committee. This bill will help in the fight against modern-day slavery and I hope to see it pass in the House soon.”

Earlier this week, the Congressman met with Tim Ballard, founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to discuss concerted efforts to protect victims of human trafficking and further disincentivize the perpetrators.

Background

H.R. 295, End Banking for Human Traffickers Act of 2019

The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act seeks to combat human trafficking by taking aim at traffickers’ finances. Specifically, this bill creates global norms for preventing financial transactions connected to human trafficking by:

  • Adding the Secretary of the Treasury as a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking;
  • Requiring the Task Force to submit recommendations to Congress to revise anti-money laundering programs to specifically target money laundering related to human trafficking;
  • Requiring the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) to review and enhance procedures to target human trafficking operations;
  • Requiring the Department of State to report on countries’ efforts to eliminate money laundering related to human trafficking and the number of investigations, arrests, indictments, and convictions in money laundering cases related to human trafficking in various countries; and
  • Strengthening the annual US Trafficking in Persons report by incorporating an assessment of countries’ efforts to develop and implement frameworks to eliminate financial transactions connected to human trafficking.

The Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking Act

In December, President Trump signed into law Rep. Curtis’ bill, The Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking Act, historic legislation that will create a Public-Private Advisory Council to provide a direct line to federal government agencies that will streamline unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and empower nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations in the fight against human trafficking.

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