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Washington, D.C. – Today, the House passed the Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act (H.R. 400), legislation authored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA).  The legislation works to ensure U.S. tax dollars do not go to contractors employing trafficked persons at U.S. embassies and other posts. 

Upon passage of H.R. 400, Chairman Royce said:  “On the heels of Human Trafficking Awareness Month we continue our efforts to combat human trafficking both abroad and here at home.  Today’s important legislation requires the State Department and USAID define ‘recruitment fees.’ By giving recruiters and contractors clear guidelines employees can be better protected from being forced to pay for the right to work.  Closing this gap in protection ensures that U.S. overseas employment practices don’t inadvertently support debt bondage, one tool of human traffickers.”

The House also passed International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (H.R. 515).  The legislation, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), strengthens law enforcement efforts to stop the appalling industry of child sex “tourism.”  This bill now advances to President Obama’s desk. 

Note: As Chairman, Royce has 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.  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.