Reyes testifies at congressional hearing for sex trafficking cause

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SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced Monday he will testify on Thursday’s congressional hearing titled, “A Pathway to Freedom: Rescue and Refuge for Sex Trafficking Victims,” which will be held before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

Reyes participated in a rescue sting operation with Operation Underground Railroad in Colombia where he and several others liberated over 120 young children from a modern-day sex slavery ring operated by a network of human traffickers.

Operation Underground Railroad, also called OUR, Founder and CEO and former CIA agent and special agent for the Department of Homeland Security Tim Ballard, will also testify on the growth of NGO rescue operations and how organizations such as OUR can complement government agencies in expediting human and child sex trafficking rescue and rehabilitation efforts worldwide.

Reyes said:

I applaud Congressman Smith and the many others who support legislation like this International Megan’s Law. Protecting children and women from exploitation by providing advance notice of intended travel by registered child-sex offenders to the government of the country of destination is another powerful step toward stopping child-sex trafficking. Having witnessed such atrocities with my own eyes last October, I can tell you this deplorable multibillion dollar industry continues to flourish and must be stopped. By advancing International Megan’s Law, I am hopeful we can significantly reduce sex tourism and human and child sex trafficking on a nationwide and global scale.

According to the Congressional subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations which oversees human trafficking, the United States government runs sting operations abroad to catch U.S. pedophile sex tourists and rescue victims where there is a nexus to the United States but often has to look to others to conduct rescue operations or run investigations that fall outside U.S. government jurisdiction.

Reyes will focus his testimony on his Colombian sting experience, his own experience combating human trafficking in Utah and why current provisions in H.R. 515 are critical to reduce and prevent human and child sex trafficking.

Submitted by the offices of Attorney General Sean Reyes.

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