From Change.org. Petition by USC MSW (VAC) Graduate Students (SWK 535) to the President of the USA
You thought slavery was over in America? Think again. Human trafficking — the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation — is a $32 billion worldwide industry, and it is happening to thousands of people across the U.S. right now.
Many people think this is a third world issue, but that is not true: the U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2008 and 2010, 83% of sex trafficking victims found within the U.S. were U.S. citizens, and 40% of those victims were children. Furthermore, the majority — upwards of 85% in some states — of trafficked children have had contact with the foster care system.
Our nation’s foster care systems do not have the appropriate resources to address this epidemic. The Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R.469) will change this by providing child welfare agencies with training and guidelines for working with youth who have been, or are currently, victims of trafficking. Please sign our petition urging the Senate to pass this crucial legislation.
H.R. 469 would ensure that child welfare agencies have systems in place to properly identify, assess, and document child victims of trafficking. It would provide training for all child protective services workers to appropriately respond to reports of child trafficking, and connect child victims to specialized rehabilitation services.
The bill passed the House unanimously, and it has now been sitting in the Senate for months. We must urge our senators to act now and pass H.R. 469. This issue has been in the shadows for far too long, and the list of victims just grows longer. How can our representatives justify delaying action on it?
It is a matter of protecting our children. Please join us in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 469, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act.