Costello continues fight against human trafficking

Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06), a member of the Human Trafficking Caucus, spoke on the U.S. House of Representatives Floor Wednesday in support of bipartisan legislation to fight human trafficking.

“Combatting human trafficking is critical to ensuring our constituents have safe and healthy communities,” Costello said. “It is important to advocate for resources for those fighting human trafficking on the front lines, as well as support legislation that can work against this horrifying activity and potentially save lives.”

U.S Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6).

Human trafficking is a serious problem across the globe, but it also exists in our communities. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in Pennsylvania last year there were over 150 human trafficking cases reported and 575 human trafficking calls. The most common types of trafficking reported in Pennsylvania were sex trafficking and labor trafficking, and this week, the House passed two bills to assist in fighting both types.

The Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act would help train Department of Labor inspectors to identify patterns and circumstances surrounding human trafficking so inspectors can assist law enforcement in recognizing and stopping this labor exploitation.

Costello also supported the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act, a bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to apply for targeted grant opportunities through the Department of Justice. Law enforcement agencies and officials need a comprehensive approach to combatting human trafficking, but essential programs that are part of this approach are often expensive. The Department of Justice’s grant program can provide assistance in implementing programs that enable officials to better combat sex trafficking demand.

Costello helped introduce a third bill in the fight against human trafficking, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize critical resources across U.S. government agencies to fight trafficking. These resources go towards valuable initiatives, such as educating children on how to avoid traffickers.

To view previous work by Costello on combatting human trafficking, click here and here.

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