It's been months since I posted anything. I apologize for the loooong delay. There is actually much to share, and I'll post a more complete update soon, but right now I need your help.
If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you've no doubt read my posts about the Child Protection Compact Act. This is a bill that would allocate $30 million for the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The money would be used to fund programs in a few key countries that have demonstrated the political will to end child trafficking.
The most exciting thing about this bill is that it's based on a program that has already been proven very effective in the Philippines. Through a combination of police training, and strengthening of the justice system, the availability of child prostitutes decreased by 79% over four years in Cebu. Imagine how many kids could be protected from the horrors of slavery if these programs were established in other cities and countries as well!!
The bill has been introduced into both the House and the Senate, and was voted unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September. Senator Barbara Boxer intended to submit the bill for a unanimous consent vote, but we've learned that Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina has put a hold on the bill. I don't know the specifics of his objections, but he is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which means he voted in favor of the bill just a couple of months ago.
It has also been brought to my attention that there is now push-back from Senator Tom Coburnof Oklahoma, who wants a budget offset for the funding. I'm all for fiscal responsibility (and I'm not being facetious, I mean it), but at $30 million, the CPCA costs just 27 cents per American family. 27 cents to save kids from being forced to work in brothels, brick kilns, rice mills and garment factories.
OK... that's the background information. Here's where I need some help.
If you know people in either South Carolina or Oklahoma, please encourage them to contact Senators DeMint and Coburn and ask them to support the CPCA. I've included their contact info below. In addition, if you have contacts with media outlets, student organizations or anyone else who could help us build support in these two states, please let me know that as well.
If the CPCA doesn't pass before Congress adjourns, we'll work at it again next year. A year may not seem like much but, for a kid being forced to work in a brothel, it's a long time.
Please do what you can to help us get this bill passed.
Thank you so much!
Senator Tom Coburn
Senator Jim DeMint