I posted this about a week ago (-ish), but wanted to re-post it in hopes it will reach more people. Because Congress is in recess this week and next, your Senators and Representatives are home and may be reachable via phone. Please take a moment to contact them and ask them to support this important piece of legislation.
This past Monday, I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time on Capitol Hill, meeting with legislative aides in various offices to talk about an exciting piece of legislation.
I know... "exciting" and "legislation" don't seem like words that belong together, but I mean it when I say this bill is exciting! It's still in draft form, so the name may change, but it is currently called the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009.
The Child Protection Compact Act was written by the Director of Government Relations at International Justice Mission, and - if it's passed as written - could significantly reduce instances of child trafficking in key countries.
The bill currently asks for $50 million over three years to be allocated to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP for short). The money would be used to fund anti-trafficking programs in three or four "focus countries". The countries haven't been decided yet, and would be selected based on their willingness and ability to meet some very specific criteria.
The money would fund things like police training, and investigative and legal work all aimed at fighting child trafficking.
What makes it exciting is that it would fund programs that already have proven success.
For example, police training and legal work have resulted in a 70% reduction of child trafficking in a couple of cities in Cambodia. A city in the Philippines has seem a similar reduction.
We don't know for sure when the bill will be introduced, but most likely after the upcoming Congressional recess.
Please take a moment to contact your Representative and ask him or her to consider co-sponsoring the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009 that's being introduced by Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey.
Also please contact your Senators and ask them to sponsor counterpart legislation in the Senate.
This is money that would be well-spent on proven programs that can spare hundreds of children from the trauma and abuse of being trafficked.