Reichert Announces Legislation to Combat Sex Trafficking

Feb 13, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) announced that he will introduce legislation tomorrow to prevent and address sex trafficking of youth in foster care. The announcement came at a press conference in Seattle, WA at Treehouse, a Washington State organization that works with foster youth to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed in life and avoid life on the streets. 

“This is a problem we must address each and every day,” said Reichert.  “It’s not a problem that will go away without constant work against it.  I was proud to be joined today by so many people who are a part of that fight to help me announce this legislation.  This bill is a big step forward to ensure the safety and protection of our youth in foster care and in the fight against sex trafficking.”

Other participants in today’s announcement were Dawn Rains, COO of Treehouse, Executive Director of the Mockingbird Society Jim Theofelis, King County Sheriff John Urquhart, Bobbe Bridge, CEO of the Center for Children and Youth Justice, YouthCare Executive Director Melinda Giovengo, and Mandy Urwiler, a former foster youth who, like the others, is an important advocate for making sure youth in foster care are properly protected and provided for. 

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act would combat sex trafficking in five key ways.  It will:

1.      Help identify victims of child sex trafficking and ensure states develop plans to help and serve these children

2.      Improve the data on this problem and the services provided to them

3.      Ensure youth in foster care can live more normal, fulfilling lives that make them less vulnerable to sex trafficking

4.      Ensure states do more to move kids quickly out of foster care into loving families if they can't return home

5.      Ensure youth in foster care are better prepared for a successful adulthood.

To read the full text of the legislation, click here.

For a more complete summary of the legislation, click here.