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President Trump Signs Bill Rep. Tenney Cosponsored, Allowing States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking

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Washington, April 11, 2018 | comments

Washington, DC— Today, Rep. Tenney announced that H.R.1865, Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), which she is a cosponsor of, was signed into law. FOSTA amends the Communications Act of 1934 to create an exception for sex trafficking, making it easier to target websites with legal action for enabling such crimes.

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime against humanity, impacting millions of people across the globe each year. In recent years, bad actors on the internet have become increasingly adept and abusing technology to grow their sex trafficking operations. As a multi-billion-dollar industry, traffickers will employ extreme measures to exploit the most vulnerable in our society,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “This important piece of legislation gives U.S. law enforcement and victims the tools necessary to stop this epidemic and hold traffickers accountable with strong penalties.”

Online sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that affects millions of people around the world each year. The victims of human trafficking are forced to engage in commercial sex or labor by traffickers who often hold them through threats of violence or other hostile means. According to UNICEF, there are nearly 21 million human trafficking victims worldwide, 55 percent of which are women and girls.

From House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Modern day slavery exists in every state and the darkest corners of the Internet. Because of the leadership of Representative Tenney, President Trump signed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act into law, allowing victims and states to better target those websites that knowingly support human trafficking. For all of the victims of this horrific crime, we stand with you and we will continue the fight to end human trafficking for good.”

As a member of the New York State Assembly, Tenney championed a number of measures to provide protections for victims of human trafficking. Working across party lines, Tenney was integral in helping to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act. This bill, which Tenney was an original cosponsor of, passed the New York State Assembly in 2015. Tenney also sponsored a resolution condemning violent acts against women and girls in Boko Haram. In Congress, Tenney has continued her aggressive leadership in the fight to end human trafficking.

FOSTA provides new legal recourse for victims and law enforcement alike, by:

  • enhancing penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to 25 years, or both—for people who promote or facilitate the prostitution of five or more people or who contribute to sex trafficking through reckless disregard.
  • allowing victims or damaged individuals of sex trafficking seek justice against websites that assist in the violation of Federal sex trafficking laws.
  • enabling State law enforcement officials to take action against individuals or businesses that violate Federal sex trafficking laws.

 

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