Text: H.Con.Res.225 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (12/16/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. CON. RES. 225


Supporting the goals and ideals of observing the National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month from January 1 through February 1 of each year to raise awareness of, and opposition to, modern slavery.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 16, 2009

Mr. Schiff (for himself and Ms. Granger) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Supporting the goals and ideals of observing the National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month from January 1 through February 1 of each year to raise awareness of, and opposition to, modern slavery.

    Whereas the United States has a tradition of advancing fundamental human rights, having abolished the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 1808 and having abolished chattel slavery and prohibited involuntary servitude in 1865;

    Whereas because the people of the United States remain committed to protecting individual freedom, there is a national imperative to eliminate human trafficking, which is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of persons for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, and the inducement of a commercial sex act by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age;

    Whereas to combat human trafficking in the United States and globally, the people of the United States, the Federal Government, and State and local governments must be aware of the realities of human trafficking and must be dedicated to stopping this contemporary manifestation of slavery;

    Whereas beyond all differences of race, creed, or political persuasion, the people of the United States face national threats together and refuse to let modern slavery exist in the United States and around the world;

    Whereas the United States should actively oppose all individuals, groups, organizations, and nations who support, advance, or commit acts of human trafficking;

    Whereas the United States must also work to end slavery in all of its forms around the world through education;

    Whereas victims of modern slavery need support in order to escape and to recover from the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma associated with their victimization;

    Whereas human traffickers use many physical and psychological techniques to control their victims, including the use of violence or threats of violence against the victim or the victim’s family, isolation from the public, isolation from the victim’s family and religious or ethnic communities, language and cultural barriers, shame, control of the victim’s possessions, confiscation of passports and other identification documents, and threats of arrest, deportation, or imprisonment if the victim attempts to reach out for assistance or to leave;

    Whereas although laws to prosecute perpetrators of modern slavery and to assist and protect victims of human trafficking, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (division A of Public Law 106–386; 114 Stat. 1466) and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–457; 122 Stat. 5044), have been enacted in the United States, awareness of the issues surrounding slavery and trafficking by those people most likely to come into contact with victims is essential for effective enforcement because the techniques that traffickers use to keep their victims enslaved severely limit self-reporting;

    Whereas January 1 is the anniversary of the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation;

    Whereas February 1 is the anniversary of the date that President Abraham Lincoln signed the joint resolution sending the 13th Amendment to the States for ratification, to forever declare that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” and is a date which has long been celebrated as National Freedom Day, as described in section 124 of title 36, United States Code;

    Whereas, under its authority to enforce the 13th Amendment “by appropriate legislation,” Congress in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 updated the post-Civil War involuntary servitude and slavery statutes and adopted an approach known as the “3P” approach of victim protection, vigorous prosecution, and prevention of human trafficking; and

    Whereas the effort by individuals, businesses, organizations, and governing bodies to commemorate January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day represents one of the many positive examples of the commitment in the United States to raise awareness of and to actively oppose modern slavery: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress supports—

(1) the goals and ideals of observing National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month to recognize the vital role that the people of the United States have in ending modern slavery;

(2) marking this observance with appropriate programs and activities culminating in the observance of National Freedom Day, as described in section 124 of title 36, United States Code; and

(3) all other efforts to raise awareness of and opposition to human trafficking.