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[Congressional Record: October 10, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S10137-S10139]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr10oc00-144]                         



 
       VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE PROTECTION ACT OF 2000

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I appreciate my colleague from Wyoming 
allowing me to speak on a topic that we will be taking up fully 
tomorrow. Tomorrow this body will take up the Victims of Trafficking 
and Violence Protection Act of 2000. That will be the business of the 
day. Tomorrow we will vote on two bills associated therewith. The 
development of this legislation has been in progress for most of this 
year, and there are several pieces in this bill.
  What I will do today is discuss with my colleagues what is in this 
bill, why it is important, why it passed the House of Representatives 
371-1, and why it is important that we address this important issue at 
this particular time.
  Senator Wellstone and I have been working on this legislation for 
this past year. It is the companion piece to a bill that passed in the 
House, sponsored by Chris Smith and Sam Gejdenson. The House bill is 
known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
  Our antitrafficking bill is the first complete legislation to address 
the growing practice of international trafficking worldwide. This is 
one of the largest manifestations of modern-day slavery 
internationally. Notably, this legislation is the most significant 
human rights bill of the 106th Congress if it is passed tomorrow as is 
expected. This is also the largest anti-slavery bill the United States 
has adopted, arguably, since 1865 and the demise of slavery at the end 
of the Civil War. Therefore, I greatly anticipate this vote tomorrow in 
the Senate on this very important legislation.
  Senator Wellstone's and my trafficking bill, which passed in the 
Senate on July 27 of this year, was conferenced to reconcile the 
differences with the House bill. The conference report was filed on 
October 5, Thursday of last week. The final conference package contains 
four additional pieces of legislation which are substantially 
appropriate to our bill.
  Most significant among those bill amendments is the Violence Against 
Women Act, which is part of this overall conference report--it is known 
as VAWA--which provides relief and assistance to those who suffer 
domestic violence in America. It is an important part of the package. 
It is a key piece of legislation that this body has previously passed. 
I am glad that it is part of this package. And it will pass as well 
with this overall package so we can help people caught in domestic 
violence.
  Thus, the overall four bills included in this conference report are: 
The sex trafficking bill that I mentioned at the outset; VAWA, the 
Violence Against Women Act; Aimee's law, which provides for interstate 
compensation for the costs of the incarceration of early-released sex 
offenders who commit another sex crime in a second State. The 21st 
Amendment Enforcement Act is also in this overall conference report. It 
allows for State attorneys general to enforce their State alcohol 
control laws in Federal court, including laws prohibiting sales to 
minors, which strengthens the grant of authority to States under the 
21st amendment to the Constitution. The final piece of legislation in 
this conference report is the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, 
which authorizes the payment of foreign seized assets to victims of 
international terrorism.

  The last step to adopting this legislative package rests with the 
Senate tomorrow. As I stated previously, it cleared the House on Friday 
by a vote of 371-1.
  This legislation is our best opportunity to challenge the largest 
manifestation of current slavery worldwide, known as trafficking. I 
want to describe that term and what this bill does to get at what is 
taking place in the form of trafficking.
  This practice of trafficking involves the coercive transportation of 
persons into slavery-like conditions, primarily involving forced 
prostitution, among other forms of slavery-like conditions.
  Trafficking is the new slavery of the world. These victims are 
routinely forced against their will into the sex trade, transported 
across international borders, and left defenseless in a foreign 
country.
  This bill also addresses the insidious practice known as ``debt 
bondage,'' wherein a person can be enslaved to the money lender for an 
entire lifetime because of a $50 debt taken by the family

[[Page S10138]]

for an emergency. This is a common practice in countries such as India 
and Nepal, among other places throughout the South Asian region.
  People of conscience have fought against the different manifestations 
of slavery for centuries.
  I might note that my State came into the Union under the fight of 
whether or not it would be a free or slave State in the 1860s. That was 
the big fight. In my State, we had bleeding Kansans, where they were 
referred to as those who were pro-slavery and those who were 
abolitionists.
  The freedom forces fought guerrilla warfare to determine whether the 
State would be slave or free. The first election was actually stolen by 
the slave-State proponents, and there was a constitution they put 
forward that would allow slavery in Kansas. The free-State forces 
overtook them. They had a free election. The free-State ballot was 
elected and won. Kansas came in as a free State--probably one of the 
decisive events in setting off the Civil War--because then the balance 
of power in Washington shifted.
  Under the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Nebraska was thought to come in as a 
free State, Kansas as a slave State, and Washington's balance of power 
would be maintained. When the abolitionists moved out of the Northeast 
to Kansas to settle, and to make sure it would be a free State, that 
tipped the balance of power and clearly led, according to historians, 
to the start of the Civil War. That is the history of my State. It is a 
noble one of fighting for freedom.
  This anti-slavery legislation is in the tradition of William 
Wilberforce and Amy Carmichael of England, who were ardent 
abolitionists against slavery in the 19th and 20th centuries. Amy 
Carmichael was a British missionary to India at the turn of the last 
century and in the early 1900s. Upon arriving in that country, she was 
mortified to discover the routine practice of forced temple 
prostitution taking place. This was and continues to be a practice 
where young girls, from age 6 onward, are dedicated to the local 
temple, and are then forced into prostitution against their will to 
generate income.
  Upon this morbid discovery, Amy Carmichael began to physically steal 
the young girls away from this incredibly degrading form of slavery. 
She would then hide the girls so they would escape the inevitable 
backlash of violence against these little girls. Eventually, the 
government outlawed this practice of forced temple prostitution as a 
result of Amy Carmichael's efforts. However, it bears noting that this 
terrible practice continues today in some rural villages throughout 
South Asia.

  This bill challenges the myriad forms of slavery, including sex 
trafficking, temple prostitution, and debt bondage, among other forms.
  This new phenomenon of sex trafficking, unfortunately, is growing 
exponentially. Some report that it is, at least, a $7 billion-per-year 
illicit trade, exceeded only by the international drug and arms trade 
in the illegal category.
  Its victims are enslaved into a devastating brutality against their 
will, with no hope for relief or justice, while its perpetrators build 
criminal empires on this suffering with impunity. Our legislation will 
begin to challenge these injustices.
  This is the new slavery of the world. As hard as it is to believe, 
women and children are routinely forced against their will into the sex 
trade internationally. They are usually transported across 
international borders so as to ``shake'' local authorities, leaving the 
victims defenseless in a foreign country, virtually held hostage in a 
strange land. The favored girls are in the age range of 10 to 13 years 
old.
  I hope some people here can look at their own children or 
grandchildren and ask how this could possibly happen to somebody so 
young.
  This bill is the first complete legislation to address this practice 
known as sex slavery, which has risen dramatically in the past two 
decades. It has risen dramatically with the increase of child 
pornography, sex tours in Eastern Asia, and the general popularizing of 
the sex industry worldwide. This mass trafficking of women and 
children, which includes both girls and boys, has been compared to some 
of the slave trade practices in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  Professor Laura Lederer of Johns Hopkins University has identified 
the trafficking routes internationally. I want to put some of these 
routes up on a chart so my colleagues will be able to see where she has 
tracked these routes to take place.
  You can see on the chart the trafficking routes from Russia and the 
Newly Independent States to other places around the world. We actually 
had a lady in the Foreign Relations Committee who testified she had 
been trafficked out of the Ukraine into Israel.
  You can see all these routes being described going into Canada, into 
the United States, into Mexico, into Europe, and into other places in 
South Asia, into Australia and into South Africa.
  These are the trafficking routes on which Professor Lederer has 
worked. She has studied this for nearly 10 years, describing and trying 
to put a finger on where these routes go.
  This chart shows trafficking routes going into the United States. By 
our own Government estimates, about 50,000 girls are trafficked into 
the United States annually by this sex trafficking, this sex 
prostitution business. These are the routes shown here on this chart, 
with 50,000 girls per year trafficked into the United States. According 
to the State Department estimates, these are the routes coming in from 
Asia, the ports of entry they come in to the United States. Here on 
this chart is shown the routes coming from Central America and South 
America.

  Shown here on this chart are the routes coming in from Europe and 
Africa and the ports of entry where they have been trafficked. Again, 
Dr. Lederer's Protection Project work showcases the same. Here is where 
they are coming from.
  It is of note to say, as well, that by our Government estimates this 
is a growing practice. It is growing more because organized crime is 
getting more and more into it. We heard testimony in committee that 
organized crime is actually favoring going into this over drugs because 
they can sell their product more than one time. And in some places 
where they traffic in prostitution it is not illegal. So they are going 
into it in a nonillegal category, where it is a legal business. The 
category of sex trafficking is growing rapidly.
  Other routes that have been discussed with us in committee include 
girls sold or abducted from Nepal into India. Nepalese girls are prized 
because of their beauty and their inability to defend themselves given 
the situations out of which they are coming.
  In Eastern Asia, most abductees are innocent tribal girls from 
isolated mountain regions; they are forced into sexual service, 
primarily into Thailand and Malaysia.
  I met with some of these Nepalese girls as they had returned, being 
taken back from the brothels of India. I met with them in January of 
this year in Katmandu. It was despicable to see these girls, many of 
them taken at 11, 12 years of age, coming back 16, 17 years old, two-
thirds of them having AIDS and/or tuberculosis. It is a deplorable 
situation.
  This is how the traffickers obtain their unsuspecting victims. Fraud 
is commonly used by traffickers against villagers in underdeveloped 
areas. Typically the buyer promises the parents that he or she is 
taking their young daughters to the city to become a nanny or domestic 
servant, giving the parents a few hundred dollars as a down payment for 
the future money she will earn for the family. Then the girl is 
transported across international borders, deposited in a brothel and 
forced into the trade, until she is no longer useful, having contracted 
some disease. She is held against her will on the false premise that 
she must work off her debt which was paid for the cost of her 
transportation, which typically takes several years. In fact, in India 
it is common for indentured laborers generally, not even sex workers, 
simply manual labor, to work 10 years or more to pay off a $50 debt.
  The use of force to obtain the victim is common in the cities, where 
a girl is physically abducted, beaten, and held against her will, 
sometimes in chains. I have talked with these girls myself, as they 
appeared in two hearings that Senator Wellstone and I held before

[[Page S10139]]

the Foreign Relations Committee. Some of them came in disguise because 
they feared the retribution their families might suffer back home, for 
reason of their testimony in exposing the slave trade mafia. That is 
how insidious and widespread this practice is.
  Existing laws internationally fail to make clear distinctions between 
victims of sexual trafficking and the perpetrators. Also, the victims 
frequently do not have legal immigrations status in the countries into 
which they are trafficked, and the victims are punished even more 
harshly than the traffickers.
  Our legislation establishes an entirely different approach of 
punishing the perpetrators but not the victims. Our legislation also 
facilitates important and baldly needed advocacy to raise awareness 
regarding sexual trafficking throughout the world.
  Additional legislative measures include:
  Providing new criminal punishment with enhanced sentences for persons 
convicted of operating such slavery enterprises in the U.S., as present 
criminal statutes are inadequate to obtain sentences commensurate with 
this new form of sex trafficking and slavery;
  Establing a reporting and advocacy mechanism at the State Department 
which would monitor efforts taken by foreign countries to criminalize, 
punish and combat international sex trafficking within their borders; 
and
  Assistance for victims in the U.S., including authorization of grants 
to shelters and rehabitation programs.
  The legislation further includes the creation of a new form of visa 
for trafficking victims. This will substantially allow for more 
aggressive prosecution, as well as the protection of these witness 
victims.
  It enhances cooperation and assistance with law enforcement agencies 
in foreign countries for the investigation and prosecution of 
international sexual trafficking, as well as promoting assistance in 
drafting and implementation of legislation.
  And it promotes the creation of worldwide awareness programs to alert 
unsuspecting, potential victims of this practice.
  Senator Wellstone and I believe this is the first sex trafficking 
legislation to pass around the world. We are hopeful it will become a 
model for other countries to deal with this pernicious, insidious 
practice that is part of the dark side of the new globalization of the 
economy.
  I support the expansion of the economy. The globalization taking 
place can be a very positive thing, such as what is taking place today 
with the signing of permanent normal trade relations with China by the 
President that this body passed. But we also have to recognize that 
there are dark aspects of globalization; this being one of them. We 
need to deal with that as well.
  Trafficking victims are the new enslaved of the world. Until 
recently, they had virtually no advocates, no defenders, no avenues for 
escape, except death, to release them from their obscene circumstances. 
This is changing rapidly, and a new human rights movement is forming on 
behalf of these victims and against the trafficking networks.
  This growing movement runs from right to left, from William Bennett 
and Chuck Colson to Gloria Steinem; all are involved in supporting this 
legislation. Our legislation is part of that movement, providing 
numerous protections and tools to empower these brutalized people 
towards re-capturing their dignity and obtaining justice.
  Trafficking has risen dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years with 
experts speculating that it could exceed the drug trade in revenues in 
the next few decades. It is sadly observed that drugs are sold once, 
while a woman or child can be sold 20 and even 30 times a day. This 
dramatic increase is attributed also to the popularizing of the sex 
industry worldwide, including the increase of child pornography and sex 
tours in Eastern Asia that I previously mentioned.
  A Washington Post article entitled, ``Sex Trade Enslaves East 
Europeans,'' dated July 25th, vividly captures the suffering of one 
Eastern Europe woman who was trafficked through Albania to Italy:

       As Irina recounts the next part of her story, she picks and 
     scratches at the skin on her face, arms and legs, as if 
     looking for an escape--she says the women were raped by a 
     succession of Albanian men who stopped by at all hours, in 
     what seemed part of a carefully organized campaign of 
     psychological conditioning for a life of prostitution.

  This awful practice must be challenged, and our legislation would do 
exactly that.
  In closing, there is a unique generosity in the American people, who 
are respected internationally for their love of justice. As we 
challenge this dehumanizing trade, an inspired movement is growing in 
America and worldwide, a modern-day abolitionist movement. Please make 
this legislation a reality for the countless people who are presently 
lost to this modern day slave trade. Please vote for passage of this 
historic anti-slavery legislation and move forward this modern 
abolitionist movement.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Roberts). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________





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