Hatch introduces legislation to combat domestic child sex trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation, Improving Outcomes for Youth at Risk for Sex Trafficking, IO YOUTH, that will help combat domestic youth sex trafficking in the United States.

“There is an epidemic of abuse that is taking place in America today. Some estimates have found hundreds of thousands of children and youth are at risk of domestic sex trafficking. Making matters worse, up to 60 percent of sexually exploited children are recruited out of our nation’s child welfare and foster care systems,” Hatch said. “We owe these young people better than this.  This legislation I am introducing today addresses some of the endemic and wide spread conditions in the child welfare and foster care systems that make children and youth particularly vulnerable to being sexually trafficked. It doesn’t add a penny to our debt and, most importantly, helps protect our children from the most vile kind of abuse and victimization.”

This legislation requires states to show that they have policies in place to identify youth who are believed to be at risk of being trafficked. Specifically, the measure empowers youth in foster care, providing them with more control over decisions affecting their lives and promotes policies to recruit and train quality foster parents. Furthermore, the legislation redirects funds from the Social Services Block Grant program to provide states with resources to keep children safely at home, improve the court system, support adoption and to provide housing to trafficked and other vulnerable youth.

“We live in contentious times. There are fierce policy and partisan divides on many critical issues, but the domestic sex trafficking of children and youth from foster care is not one of them,” Hatch said. “If there is any issue under the sun that is without controversy, it’s this one. I hope my colleagues will join me in backing this legislation.”

Earlier this year, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing examining the issue of domestic sex trafficking and problems confronting America’s child welfare and foster care systems..

This legislation has earned the support of the National Children’s Alliance, Foster Club, Children’s Home Society of America, the National Network for Youth, the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, Covenant House International, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Rights 4 Girls and the Children’s Village.

On Wednesday, Hatch delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding the legislation. Key remarks from and a full copy of his speech can be found here.

Submitted by: The Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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3 Comments

  • Tom September 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    If the program doesn’t use any more tax money, then how can it be resulting in anything more than is already being done? If the program is going to produce more results, then how can it not be costing more tax money? Gosh, golly, Orrin, what’s your conservative republican tea party base gonna think about you dishin’ up another welfare program? Next thing you know, you’ll be wanting to give them health insurance too. Could this be playing to your Latter Day Republican large family base also?

  • Ruthie September 19, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Tom,

    You can go to C-SPAN and view the hearings and briefings where youth have told their horror stories. Young people from all over the country have begged Congress to make better use of EXISTING foster care and other poorly used social services dollars to help older youth. We take them from their families claiming that their own families are (and often they are) a danger to them and then we put those youth in group homes where they are often sexually abused and exploited for cash. This is one of the few times that a legislator has responded directly to requests from youth who have lived in foster care – rather than the foster care system. It shifts funds from more expensive interventions like residential treatment (which can cost over 100 grand per year) to housing and jobs – often less than 6k per year. Sorry, your criticism of your Sen. doesn’t hold up. And PS, thanks to Mary Landrieu, these youth will get health insurance until they are 26 – JUST LIKE YOUTH WHO LIVE IN THEIR OWN FAMILIES. All kids can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26. Don’t you think that homeless youth and former foster youth WITHOUT parents should be extended the same courtesy?

  • Michael Reagan September 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Now it is tome to implement Erins Law Nationally
    http://www.erinmerryn.net/erins-law.html

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