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Human trafficking bills aim to clear victims’ criminal records and improve services |  KTA

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) says the United States must step up and help victims of human trafficking.

“They should not be prevented from rebuilding their lives because of the activities their captures forced them to engage in,” Gillibrand said.

She pushed two bipartisan bills through the Senate. A bill would erase the criminal records of victims of trafficking for crimes like prostitution and money laundering.

“It would really allow them to start over with a clean slate,” Gillibrand said.

The other would improve victim services, government training and methods of tracking the problem.

“Help us identify better ways to collect data so that we can not only identify patterns, but solve them,” Gillibrand said.

In 2020, the United States reported nearly 11,000 cases of human trafficking. As a survivor and founder of mentariShandra Woworuntu points out that it can happen to anyone.

“I came here on a work visa. So trafficking does not see educated or uneducated people, they are immigrants or domestics, it happens to anyone,” Woworuntu said.

Republicans agree and say Congress must take every action possible to stop human trafficking and protect victims.

“It’s modern-day slavery in a sense and something we need to continue to push back and fight against,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Cornyn and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Penn.) say they favor the action.

“Why aren’t we paying more attention? It’s an international problem and it’s going to take a very big effort,” Kelly said.


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