Thursday, October 1, 2009

Help End Child Trafficking: A Call to Action

Urge Congress to Prioritize Child Protection

In the mid-19th century, novelist Herman Melville, commenting on the wave of immigrants coming to the U.S., was quoted as saying “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world.”

We can draw two conclusions from this statement: 1) it is more accurate today than ever before, and 2) the reverse must also be true – to spill a drop of foreign blood is to spill the blood of an American. The men, women and children of the world are our brothers and sisters, and to the degree that we are able, we must guard and protect them.

That is the motivation behind House Resolution 2737 – The Child Protection Compact Act. First introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-4th), the bill seeks to increase funding for the State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) and forge partnerships between the United States and other countries that are committed to eradicating child trafficking.

More specifically, H.R. 2737 would:
  • Allocate $50 million over three years to the G/TIP Office;
  • Enable the U.S. to enter into formal partnerships (compacts) with 2 - 3 countries that have demonstrated the political will to combat human trafficking, and;
  • Designate the $50 million for “training anti-trafficking police and investigators, creation of victim-friendly courts, development of appropriate after-care facilities,”[1] and more in those countries.

This is an exciting piece of legislation for those who are passionate about ending child trafficking. It has been carefully crafted to ensure that money is spent on programs that actually work. This isn’t someone’s best guess. It was written by people who have been in this fight for a long time; people who know what it takes to save and protect children from this horrible crime.

If passed as written, the Child Protection Compact Act has the potential to significantly impact global efforts to combat child trafficking and the exploitation of children by driving resources deep into a select few countries rather than spreading it thinly across the globe.

Though the bill has been introduced, it still has a long way to go. Most bills never make it out of committee because there are just too many bills and too little time. And when I say “most”, I mean 90 percent or more. H.R. 2737’s chances will increase if we raise our collective voice.

Now that Congress is back in session, I urge you to call your Representative, and ask for movement on the Child Protection Compact Act.

Find your Representative.

Read the Child Protection Compact Act.

[1] Source: Text of H.R. 2737, Section 6.d.2

No comments:

Post a Comment