Media CenterCRS Applauds Legislation to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
WASHINGTON, DC, January 26, 2015 – Catholic Relief Services applauds the passage by the House of Representatives of the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking. The bipartisan legislation works to mitigate child sex tourism by enhancing notification by US authorities to authorities in destination countries of the travel plans of convicted child-sex offenders. By working for reciprocal agreements, it would help to protect American children as well as children overseas.
Some Americans with known criminal backgrounds of sexual abuse against children in the U.S. travel to and are later caught sexually exploiting children in East Asia, Europe, Central and South America – a trend well documented by law enforcement and media reports. In Mumbai, India, Catholic Relief Services’ supports a home for girls in need of protection, including those rescued from the sex industry, where they receive education and vocational training so they can support themselves outside the sex trade.
The International Labor Organization has estimated that 1.8 million children are victimized by commercial sexual exploitation every year. “It is a daunting number, but there are concrete ways to protect vulnerable children from trafficking and sexual exploitation,” said Bill O’Keefe, vice president for Government Relations and Advocacy for Catholic Relief Services.
Since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was authorized back in 2000, Catholic Relief Services has implemented over one-hundred anti-trafficking programs in nearly 30 countries.
“In addition to victims’ services and advocacy, Catholic Relief Services seeks to reduce the risk of trafficking by helping to generate employment opportunities and keep children in school,” O’Keefe said. “Trafficking risk-reduction has been our advocacy focus throughout.”
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS eases suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 93 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. Our programs touch nearly 100 million lives. CRS has been helping people in need for more than 70 years. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief and CRSnews, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.