Last week the House of Representatives on suspension of the rule (a fast-track vote process) passed a dozen bills intended to address or help combat human trafficking while improving services to survivors. The one most significant to child welfare would amend the Child Abuse Prevention and treatment Act (CAPTA). H.R. 469 – Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)) and Education and Workforce Committee Chairmen John Kline (R-MN) would add new screening requirements and data collection to the state plan requirements.
Some of the bills differ from the Senate approach on some issues for example, H.R. 468 – Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims for Youth Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)—see the following article for details). Others differences may include funding issues, the scope of trafficking bills. Some in the Senate do not want anti-trafficking issues to be narrowed to sex trafficking or domestic trafficking but want the broader approach to all human trafficking including forced labor, domestic population and populations smuggled or coerced into the United States.
Besides these two the remaining package includes: H.R. 181 – Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) , H.R. 159 – Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2015, Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN), H.R. 350 – Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015, Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD), H.R. 246 – To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), H.R. 398 – Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC), H.R. 460 – Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015, Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC), H.R. 285 – Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), H.R. 514 – Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), H.R. 515 – International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), and H.R. 357 – Human Trafficking Prevention Act, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).