February 28, 2018

A Giant Step Closer to Restoring Rights for Victims of Online Sex Trafficking

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed an historic legislative package to fight online sex trafficking, by a vote of 388 to 25. The legislation included H.R. 1865 the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, and an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters which incorporated the vital reforms contained in S. 1693 the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), sponsored by Senators Portman, Blumenthal, and McCaskill.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this legislative package which, if also passed by the Senate, will restore rights to victims of sex trafficking and empower states Attorneys General to prosecute powerful sex traffickers.

People are not objects to be sold online.

We are grateful to House Leadership, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and Representatives Ann Wagner, Carolyn Maloney, Mimi Walters, Chris Smith, Joyce Beatty, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Martha Roby, as well as all the members of the House of Representatives, who cast their votes in support of this fundamental principle. Yesterday’s historic vote puts us on the cusp of restoring rights to victims of sex trafficking and empowering state Attorneys General to prosecute the kingpins of sex trafficking.

Now all eyes turn toward the U.S. Senate. Senators must join with the U.S. House of Representatives, survivorsAttorneys General from 48 Statesa state legislaturecelebrities, and advocacy groups from across the country in standing with victims of sex trafficking. We hope they live up to their duty to protect the vulnerable.

To learn more about the Communications Decency Act and its role in facilitating online sex trafficking visit endsexualexploitation.org/cda.

Lisa Thompson

Lisa L. Thompson, Vice President of Research and Education, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Vice President and Director of the NCOSE Research Institute

As Vice President of Research and Education for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Lisa conducts policy analysis and advocacy, advances understanding of pornography’s public health harms, and liaises with public officials, advocates, and academics to advance strategies combating the web of sexual exploitation, including pornography, stripping, prostitution, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, and more.

Lisa joined NCOSE following two years with World Hope International where as Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa oversaw sex trafficking recovery programs in Cambodia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Lisa is a contributing author to Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors, as well as the book Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:  Europe Latin America, North America, and Global. Lisa also routinely speaks and trains on sexual exploitation topics for a diverse range of audiences. Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters.

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