Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and long-time advocate of anti-human trafficking efforts, issued the following statement in advance of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which will be commemorated on Sunday, January 11:

“As we observe National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month we are reminded of the harsh truth that there are more than 20 million human trafficking victims around the world, including in the United States. This modern-day form of slavery must be stopped.  With the new year ahead of us, let us commit to protect and restore the dignity of those who have survived such exploitation.  I will soon be introducing legislation to ensure our tax dollars do not support human trafficking among the thousands of foreign workers the U.S. government hires overseas.”

Note: Over the past two years as Chairman, Royce convened a number of hearings on human trafficking, including a field hearing in Orange County, California to examine international human trafficking and to assess efforts to combat trafficking at the international, Federal, State and local levels.  These hearings culminated in Committee action on multiple anti-trafficking bills.  Chairman Royce also launched a Human Trafficking Congressional Advisory Committee (HTCAC) to address human trafficking concerns, as well as offer policy recommendations; the HTCAC is comprised of victims’ rights groups, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and community advocates.