Summary

To end international sexual trafficking,and for other purposes.
In the House of Representatives

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To end international sexual trafficking,and for other purposes. In the House of Representatives

maggie knowles
HR 1356 IH
106th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1356

25-03-1999
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey (for himself and Ms. KAPTUR) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, and Banking and Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

A BILL

To end international sexual trafficking, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `Freedom From Sexual Trafficking Act of 1999'.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Purposes and findings.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking.

Sec. 5. Office for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking.

Sec. 6. Assistance for victim protection.

Sec. 7. Protection from removal for certain victims of sexual trafficking.

Sec. 8. Actions against governments failing to meet minimum standards.

Sec. 9. Trafficking of persons for commercial sexual purposes.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES AND FINDINGS.

(a) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are to end international sexual trafficking, in which women and children are brought across international boundaries by means of force or fraud for purposes of forced prostitution, sexual slavery, and similar practices; to provide just punishment for the perpetrators of such practices; and to protect their victims.

 

(b) FINDINGS- The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Millions of persons every year, of whom the overwhelming majority are women or children, are trafficked into the international sex trade by means of fraud, force, or coercion.

(2) International trafficking in persons is not limited to sexual trafficking. It may also involve forced labor and other violations of internationally recognized human rights. Trafficking of persons in all its forms is an evil that calls for concerted and vigorous action by countries of origin, receiving countries, and international organizations.

(3) Sexual trafficking is a particularly brutal form of the international traffic in persons. Because it causes the involuntary participation of another person in sex acts by means of fraud, force, or coercion, sexual trafficking includes all the elements of the crime of rape, which is defined by all legal systems as among the most serious of all crimes.

(4) International sexual trafficking also involves frequent and serious violations of other laws, including labor and immigration codes and laws against kidnapping, slavery, false imprisonment, assault, battery, pandering, fraud, and extortion.

(5) Existing legislation and law enforcement in the United States and in other nations around the world have proved inadequate to deter trafficking and to bring traffickers to justice, principally because such legislation and enforcement do not reflect the gravity of the offenses involved. Instead, even the most brutal instances of sexual trafficking are often punished under laws that also apply to far less serious offenses such as consensual sexual activity and illegal immigration, so that traffickers typically escape severe punishment.

(6) In some countries, enforcement against international sexual traffickers is also hindered by official indifference, by corruption, and sometimes even by active official participation in trafficking.

(7) Because existing laws and law enforcement procedures often fail to make clear distinctions between victims of sexual trafficking and persons who have wilfully violated laws such as those against prostitution, and because victims often do not have legal immigration status in the countries into which they are trafficked, the victims are often punished more harshly than the traffickers themselves.

(8) Because victims of international sexual trafficking are frequently unfamiliar with the laws, cultures, and languages of the countries into which they have been trafficked, and because they are subjected to coercion and intimidation including physical detention, debt bondage, fear of retribution, and fear of forcible removal to countries in which they will face retribution or other hardship, these victims often find it difficult or impossible to report the crimes committed against them or to assist in the investigation and prosecution of such crimes.

(9) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to be free from slavery and involuntary servitude, arbitrary detention, degrading or inhuman treatment, and arbitrary interference with privacy or the family, as well as the right to protection by law against these abuses.

(10) The United Nations General Assembly has passed three resolutions during the last three years (50/167, 51/66, and 52/98) recognizing that the international traffic in women and girls, particularly for purposes of forced prostitution, is a matter of pressing international concern involving numerous violations of fundamental human rights. The resolutions call upon governments of receiving countries as well as countries of origin to strengthen their laws against such practices, to intensify their efforts to enforce such laws, and to ensure the full protection, treatment, and rehabilitation of women and children who are victims of trafficking.

(11) The Final Report of the World Congress against Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Stockholm, Sweden in August 1996, recognized that international sexual trafficking is a principal cause of increased exploitation and degradation of children.

(12) In the 1991 Moscow Document of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, participating states including the United States agreed to `seek to eliminate all forms of violence against women, and all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women including by ensuring adequate legal prohibitions against such acts and other appropriate measures'.

(13) In order to deter international sexual trafficking and to bring its perpetrators to justice, nations including the United States must recognize that sexual trafficking is a grave offense, equivalent for all moral and practical purposes to the crime of rape, and must act on this recognition by prescribing appropriate punishment for sexual trafficking, by giving the highest priority to its investigation and prosecution, and by protecting rather than punishing its victims.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this Act:

(1) SEXUAL TRAFFICKING- The term `sexual trafficking' means the taking of a person across an international border for the purpose of a commercial sexual act, if either such taking or such sexual act is effected by fraud, force, or coercion, or if the person has not attained the age of 18 years.

(2) VICTIM OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING- The term `victim of sexual trafficking' means any person who is taken across an international border for the purpose of a commercial sexual act, if the participation of such person in such taking or such act is induced by fraud, force, or coercion, or if the person has not attained the age of 18 years.

(3) ACT OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING- The term `act of sexual trafficking' means any act at any point in the process of sexual trafficking, including any act of recruitment, harboring, transport, purchase, or sale of a victim of sexual trafficking, or any act of operation, management, or ownership of an enterprise in which a victim of sexual trafficking engages in a commercial sexual act or is induced or expected to engage in such act, or sharing in the profits of the process of sexual trafficking or any part thereof.

(4) COMMERCIAL SEXUAL ACT- The term `commercial sexual act' means a sexual act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.

(5) MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING- The term `minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking' means the standards set forth in section 4.

(6) NONHUMANITARIAN FOREIGN ASSISTANCE- The term `nonhumanitarian foreign assistance' means--

(A) any assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (including programs under title IV of chapter 2 of part I of that Act, relating to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), other than--

(i) assistance under chapter 8 of part I of that Act;

(ii) any other narcotics-related assistance under part I of that Act or under chapter 4 or 5 of part II of that Act, but any such assistance provided under this clause shall be subject to the prior notification procedures applicable to reprogrammings pursuant to section 634A of that Act;

(iii) disaster relief assistance, including any assistance under chapter 9 of part I of that Act;

(iv) antiterrorism assistance under chapter 8 of part II of that Act;

(v) assistance which involves the provision of food (including monetization of food) or medicine;

(vi) assistance for refugees; and

(vii) humanitarian and other development assistance in support of programs of nongovernmental organizations under chapters 1 and 10 of that Act;

(B) sales, or financing on any terms, under the Arms Export Control Act, other than sales or financing provided for narcotics-related purposes following notification in accordance with the prior notification procedures applicable to reprogrammings pursuant to section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; and

(C) financing under the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945.

SEC. 4. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING.

(a) MINIMUM STANDARDS- Minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking are as follows:

(1) The country should prohibit and punish sexual trafficking.

(2) The country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that for the most serious crimes, such as forcible sexual assault, for a person who knowingly commits an act of sexual trafficking involving fraud, force, or coercion, or in which the victim of sexual trafficking has not attained the age of 14 years.

(3) The country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that prescribed for other serious crimes for a person who knowingly commits an act of sexual trafficking in which there is no proof of fraud, force, or coercion, and in which the victim of sexual trafficking has attained the age of 14 years but has not attained the age of 18 years.

(4) The country should make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate sexual trafficking.

(b) CRITERIA- In determinations under subsection (a)(3) the following factors should be considered:

(1) Whether the country vigorously investigates and prosecutes acts of trafficking that take place wholly or partly within the territory of the country.

(2) Whether the country cooperates with other countries in the investigation and prosecution of sexual trafficking.

(3) Whether the country extradites persons charged with acts of sexual trafficking on the same terms and to the same extent as persons charged with other serious crimes.

(4) Whether the country monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of sexual trafficking and whether law enforcement agencies of the country respond to any such evidence in a manner which is consistent with the vigorous investigation and prosecution of acts of sexual trafficking, as well as with the protection of victims and the internationally recognized human right to travel.

(5) Whether the country protects victims and encourages their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of sexual trafficking, including provision for legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they would face retribution or other hardship.

(6) Whether the country vigorously investigates and prosecutes public officials who participate in, facilitate, or condone sexual trafficking.

SEC. 5. OFFICE FOR THE PROTECTION OF VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Office of the Secretary of State an Office for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking. The office shall be administered by a director. The director shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The director shall have primary responsibility for assisting the Secretary of State in carrying out the purposes of this Act and may have additional responsibilities as determined by the Secretary.

(b) REPORTS TO CONGRESS-

(1) ANNUAL REPORT- Not later than April 30 of each year, the Secretary of State, with the assistance of the director, shall submit to the Congress a report with respect to the status of international sexual trafficking, including a list of those countries, if any, that do not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking under section 4.

(2) COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES- Section 116(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151n) is amended--

(A) at the end of paragraph (6) by striking `and';

(B) at the end of paragraph (7) by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

(C) by adding after paragraph (7) the following new paragraph:

(8) information on sexual trafficking and of efforts being taken by the country to prevent such trafficking.'.

(3) INTERIM REPORTS- The Secretary of State, with the assistance of the director, may submit to the Congress in addition to the annual report under subsection (b) one or more interim reports with respect to the status of international sexual trafficking, including information about countries whose governments have come into or out of compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking since the transmission of the last annual report.

(c) DUTIES AND AUTHORITIES OF THE DIRECTOR- Pursuant to the responsibilities set forth in subsections (a) and (b), the director shall assist the Secretary in the establishment and operation of facilities to receive and disseminate information about international sexual trafficking, including a site on the Internet. The director shall have authority to consult with experts on international sexual trafficking and with victims and other affected persons and to take evidence in public hearings or by other means.

(d) AUTHORIZATION- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2000 and $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2001 for the Office for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking.

(e) NOMINATION OF DIRECTOR- The President shall transmit to the Senate the nomination of the director not later than 120 days after the effective date of this Act.

SEC. 6. ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIM PROTECTION.

(a) INTERNATIONAL VICTIM PROGRAMS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2000 and $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, for assistance to foreign countries in programs and activities designed to meet the minimum international standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking, including drafting of legislation to prohibit and punish acts of sexual trafficking, investigation and prosecution of sexual trafficking, and facilities, programs, and activities for the protection of victims.

(b) DOMESTIC VICTIM PROGRAMS- There is appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2000 and $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, for programs and activities to assist victims of sexual trafficking in the United States.

(c) ASSISTANCE THROUGH NGOS- In carrying out this section, assistance should be administered through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) whenever possible.

(d) ASSET FORFEITURE FUNDS- Funds from asset forfeiture under section 2241A of title 18, United States Code, are authorized to be available in equal amounts for the purposes of subsections (a) and (b) and shall remain available for obligation until expended.

SEC. 7. PROTECTION FROM REMOVAL FOR CERTAIN VICTIMS OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING.

(a) NONIMMIGRANT CLASSIFICATION FOR CERTAIN VICTIMS OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING- Section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)) is amended--

(1) by striking `or' at the end of subparagraph (R);

(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (S) and inserting `; or'; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

`(T) an alien who the Attorney General determines--

`(i) is physically present in the United States;

`(ii) is or has been a victim of sexual trafficking as defined in section 3 of the Freedom From Sexual Trafficking Act of 1999;

`(iii)(I) has not unreasonably refused to assist in the investigation or prosecution of acts of sexual trafficking; or

`(II) has not attained the age of 14 years; and

`(iv) would face a significant possibility of retribution or other hardship if removed from the United States,

and, if the Attorney General considers it to be appropriate, the spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of an alien described in this subparagraph if accompanying, or following to join, the alien, except that no person shall be eligible for admission to the United States under this subparagraph if there is substantial reason to believe that the person has committed an act of sexual trafficking as defined in section 3 of the Freedom From Sexual Trafficking Act of 1999.'.

(b) WAIVER OF GROUNDS FOR INELIGIBILITY FOR ADMISSION- Section 212(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

`(13) The Attorney General shall determine whether a ground for inadmissibility exists with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(T). The Attorney General, in the Attorney General's discretion, may waive the application of subsection (a) (other than paragraph (3)(E)) in the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(T), if the Attorney General considers it to be in the national interest to do so. Nothing in this section shall be regarded as prohibiting the Immigration and Naturalization Service from instituting removal proceedings against an alien admitted as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(T) for conduct committed after the alien's admission into the United States, or for conduct or a condition that was not disclosed to the Attorney General prior to the alien's admission as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(T).'.

(c) ADJUSTMENT TO PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS- Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(l)(1) If, in the opinion of the Attorney General, a nonimmigrant admitted into the United States under section 101(a)(15)(T)--

`(A) has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least 3 years since the date of admission as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(T);

`(B) has, throughout such period, been a person of good moral character;

`(C) has not, during such period, unreasonably refused to provide assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of sexual trafficking; and

`(D) would face a significant possibility of retribution or other hardship if removed from the United States,

the Attorney General may adjust the status of the alien (and the spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of the alien if admitted under that section) to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien is not described in section 212(a)(3)(E)

`(2) An alien shall be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States under paragraph (1)(A) if the alien has departed from the United States for any period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate exceeding 180 days.'.

SEC. 8. ACTIONS AGAINST GOVERNMENTS FAILING TO MEET MINIMUM STANDARDS.

(a) STATEMENT OF POLICY- It is the policy of the United States not to provide nonhumanitarian foreign assistance to countries which do not meet minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking.

(b) NOTIFICATION- For each fiscal year, for each foreign country which does not meet minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking, as described in an annual report with respect to the status of international sexual trafficking under section 5(b)(1) or an interim report under section 5(b)(3), not less than 45 days and not more than 90 days after the submission of such a report, the President shall submit a notification to the Congress of one of the determinations described in subsection (c).

(c) DETERMINATIONS- The determinations referred to in subsection (b) are as follows:

(1) WITHHOLDING OF NONHUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE- The President has determined that--

(A)(i) the United States will not provide nonhumanitarian foreign assistance to the government of the country for the subsequent fiscal year until such government complies with the minimum standards; or

(ii) in the case of a country whose government received no nonhumanitarian foreign assistance from the United States during the previous fiscal year, the United States will not provide funding for participation by officials or employees of such governments in educational and cultural exchange programs for the subsequent fiscal year until such government complies with the minimum standards; and

(B) the President will instruct the United States Executive Director of each multilateral development bank and of the International Monetary Fund to vote against, and to use his or her best efforts to deny, any loan or other utilization of the funds of his or her institution to that country (other than for humanitarian assistance, or for development assistance which directly addresses basic human needs, is not administered by the government of the sanctioned country, and confers no benefit to that country) for the subsequent fiscal year until such government complies with the minimum standards.

(2) SUBSEQUENT COMPLIANCE- The Secretary of State, with the assistance of the director, has determined that the country has come into compliance with the minimum standards.

(3) CONTINUATION OF ASSISTANCE IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST- Notwithstanding the failure of the country to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of sexual trafficking, the President has determined that the provision of nonhumanitarian foreign assistance to the country is in the national interest of the United States.

(d) CERTIFICATION- Together with any notification under subsection (b)(1)(i), the President shall provide a certification by the Secretary of State that with respect to assistance described in clause (i), (ii), or (iv) of section 3(6)(A) or in section 3(6)(B), no assistance is intended to be received or used by any agency or official who has participated in, facilitated, or condoned sexual trafficking.

SEC. 9. TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS FOR COMMERCIAL SEXUAL PURPOSES.

(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 2241 the following:

`Sec. 2241A. Trafficking of persons for commercial sexual purposes

`(a) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, knowingly does or attempts or conspires to--

`(1) transport a person across an international border;

`(2) recruit, entice, harbor, or engage in the purchase or sale of a person when the person will be or has been transported across an international border; or

`(3) own, manage, operate, or share in the proceeds of an enterprise in which a person has been transported across an international border,

for the purpose of causing a person who has not attained the age of 18 years to engage in a commercial sexual act or for the purpose of causing a person to engage in a commercial sexual act by fraud, force, or coercion, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

`(b) PUNISHMENT- The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is--

`(1) if the offense was effected by fraud, force, or coercion, or if the person transported had not attained the age of 14 years at the time of such offense, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both; or

`(2) if the offense was not effected by fraud, force, or coercion, and the person transported had attained the age of 14 years but had not attained the age of 18 years at the time of such offense, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 15 years, or both.

`(c) DEFINITION OF COMMERCIAL SEXUAL ACT- In this section, the term `commercial sexual act' means any sexual act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person, and--

`(1) which takes place in the United States;

`(2) which affects United States foreign commerce; or

`(3) in which either the person transported or the person committing the violation is a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

`(d) FORFEITURE-

`(1) IN GENERAL- Upon conviction for a violation of this section, the convicted person shall forfeit to the United States such person's interest in any property, real or personal--

`(A) constituting or traceable to gross profits or other proceeds obtained from such offense; or

`(B) used or intended to be used to commit or to promote the commission of such offense.

`(2) PROCEDURE- The procedures in section 1963 relating to forfeiture shall apply to forfeiture of property under this section in the same manner as those procedures apply with respect to property forfeited under that section.

`(e) WITNESS PROTECTION- Any violation of this section shall be considered an organized criminal activity or other serious offense for the purposes of application of chapter 224 (relating to witness protection).'.

(b) RACKETEERING- Section 1961(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting `section 2241A (relating to trafficking of persons for commercial sexual purposes),' after `murder-for-hire),'.

(c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2241 the following new item:

`2241A. Trafficking of persons for commercial sexual purposes.'.

END
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