Combating human trafficking, Rep. Bryan Steil announces first bill

May 31, 2019
In The News

U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, is introducing his first bill after hearing concerns from sheriffs in his district that human trafficking is one of their top concerns.

Steil rolled out his “Exposing the Financing of Human Trafficking Act,” in Janesville along with law enforcement officials Tuesday.

Currently, the U.S. uses the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report for foreign governments to detail their efforts to combat human trafficking. Steil says even though countries are filing TIP reports to prevent trafficking, they are not required to cover efforts to disrupt illicit finances.

This bill would evaluate foreign countries efforts to investigate, prevent and prosecute financial criminal activities associated with the facilitation of human trafficking.

The International Labor Organization estimates that more than $150 billion in illegal profit is made from forced labor each year, making human trafficking the third most valuable criminal operation in the world.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to human trafficking,” said Steil. “Understanding where this money comes from and where it’s going gives countries the ability to crack down on these crimes. Addressing this gap in current law will have a major impact on global efforts to fight human trafficking.”

Steil said his bill has bipartisan support and remains hopeful it can pass before the end of the congressional session.