Washington, D.C. As Super Bowl XLVIII nears, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reiterated his support for efforts to combat international human trafficking in an opening statement for today’s 2 p.m. subcommittee hearing entitled, “Lessons Learned from Super Bowl Preparations: Preventing International Human Trafficking at Major Sporting Events.

Chairman Royce, who launched a Human Trafficking Congressional Advisory Committee (HTCAC) last year to address human trafficking concerns, recently introduced H.R. 3344, the Fraudulent Overseas Recruitment and Trafficking Elimination (FORTE) Act of 2013.  The legislation combats the growing problem of international human trafficking by requiring overseas labor recruiters to provide detailed employment information to overseas workers, to avoid the bait-and-switch into slave labor or sexual slavery once they enter the U.S., and creating additional penalties and enforcement mechanisms.  Last year, Chairman Royce convened two Full Committee hearings focused on combating international human trafficking.

Witness testimony and LIVE WEBCAST will be available HERE

Chairman Royce’s prepared opening statement:

“Whether it be the Olympics, the World Cup, or the Super Bowl, any high-profile event that brings a large influx of visitors to a new locale can also create circumstances conducive to human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

That exploitation sometimes involves crimes against children.  The District Attorney for Orange County, California testified at our November 4th field hearing that the average child victim of trafficking this country is twelve years old, “a little girl who has not even reached her teens.”

The dehumanizing reality of human trafficking is complex and varied, and cannot be neatly divided into a foreign or domestic issue.  It also cannot be treated only as a law enforcement matter.  Thus, I am pleased to see that our witnesses today include representatives from the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the transportation industry, and anti-trafficking groups.  Such broad-based cooperation is essential in combating this modern slavery.

But the biggest impact of today’s hearing may be in empowering our fellow citizens to recognize and report these crimes, which occur even in our home communities.  Anyone wanting to report suspicious activity, seek assistance, or ask questions should call the hotline of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888, which is available at any hour of the day or night.”