February 27, 2018
Contact: T.W. Arrighi
House Passes Landmark Human Trafficking Legislation Including Amendment from Congresswoman Walters
Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), introduced by Congresswomen Mimi Walters (R-California), Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), and Carolyn Maloney (D-New York). This landmark legislation includes an amendment authored by Congresswoman Walters that would allow enforcement of criminal and civil sex trafficking laws against websites that knowingly facilitate online sex trafficking activities.
The amended legislation passed with bipartisan approval and with the support of numerous victim advocacy organizations, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Said Rep. Mimi Walters, “Today, the House voted to hold accountable those who knowingly facilitate online sex trafficking activities. The modern day slave trade of human trafficking operates in the shadows of communities across the country, including Orange County.
“I am pleased that the legislation passed by the House today will support sex trafficking survivors in their quest for justice by making it illegal for websites to knowingly participate in any venture that promotes this heinous crime. I urge my Senate colleagues to quickly pass this legislation and put an end to sex trafficking in this country.”
Said Rep. Ann Wagner, “Today, when the House of Representatives voted to pass FOSTA, we sent a clear message to trafficking victims: you are not alone, and justice is no longer out of reach. FOSTA will produce more prosecutions of bad actor websites, more convictions, and put more predators behind bars. It will give victims a pathway to justice and provide a meaningful criminal deterrent, so that fewer businesses will ever enter the sex trade, and fewer victims will ever be sold. Today, because of the hard work and dedication of the Judiciary Committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee, House Leadership, my staff, and my many colleagues, we have passed legislation that will be transformative in the fight to end online sex trafficking. I would also like to thank the brave survivors, dozens of advocacy groups, and tech organizations who came together to find a solution. I encourage the Senate to take swift action on this legislation to ensure that victims have a pathway to justice and that the businesses that sell our children online can no longer do so with impunity.”
Said Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “The evil of human trafficking destroys tens of thousands of lives every year and this Congress has stood together to put an end to it. Thanks to Mimi’s work, the House has passed strong legislation aimed at those who support or enable human trafficking on the internet. Bringing these heinous crimes out of the dark and holding those accountable who have support it in any fashion, will help bring us one step closer to ending trafficking. I applaud Mimi on her strong leadership against human trafficking and advocating for this bill.”
Said John Clark, President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, “The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is pleased that the House of Representatives has passed Representative Ann Wagner’s Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the crucial amendment offered by Representative Mimi Walters. FOSTA makes long needed updates to the Communications Decency Act, ensures that children trafficked for sex online can have their day in court against online traffickers and clarifies that there is no legal protection for anyone who participates in the sex trafficking of children. We look forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress to get this legislation through the Senate so that it can get to the President's desk to be signed into law.”
Walters represents California’s 45th District and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the House Committee on Ethics.