TARGET Act Authorizes Awards for Info Leading to Arrest or Conviction of Traffickers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced H.R. 1625, the Targeted Rewards for the Global Eradication of Human Trafficking (TARGET) Act, allowing the U.S. Department of State to use cash rewards to help bring human traffickers to justice.

Upon introduction of H.R. 1625, Chairman Royce said: “Human trafficking has become a global epidemic that preys on the most vulnerable among us – primarily women and children. This abhorrent trade is increasingly perpetrated by sophisticated international criminals who pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.

“Our bipartisan bill will help turn the tables on the traffickers by putting a price on their capture. We’ve seen the effectiveness of the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program in combating drug trafficking, cybercrimes and wildlife trafficking. It is my expectation that the TARGET Act will be equally effective in the fight against those who buy and sell people.”

Note:  Since the inception of the State Department’s rewards program in 1984, the U.S. Government has paid rewards to people who provided actionable intelligence that, according to the State Department, prevented international terrorist attacks or helped convict individuals involved in terrorist acts. In 2012, Chairman Royce authored legislation, which became law, that expanded the State Department’s rewards program to target transnational organized criminals and the world’s worst human rights abusers.  Royce’s legislation has also been used to help disrupt wildlife poaching and trafficking networks increasingly linked to terrorists.