Action Alert

Urge Your Senators to Strengthen Response to Child Sex Trafficking in the U.S. Foster System

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children enter the foster care system. Among the many challenges that these children face is their increased vulnerability to sex trafficking.

According to Polaris, in 2015 an estimated 1 in 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran away. Clearly, those working social services do not have the appropriate resources to identify potential trafficking victims.

In early 2015, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 469, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act. This bill would put in place systems to identify, assess, and document child victims of human trafficking who go through child welfare agencies. By providing training for all child protective service staff and connecting children to rehabilitation services, many of the child sex trafficking victims that usually slip through the cracks of the system can begin to rebuild their lives.

For over a year, this legislation has been stalled in the Senate, further delaying these much-needed improvements to go into effect. No child should be exploited, and every child should be given the care that they need when in the welfare system. We call on you to send the letter below to urge your Senators to take up a vote on H.R. 469.
 
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