Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry worldwide and affects 27 million people. The Senate Caucus to end Human Trafficking, founded to provide a multijurisdictional forum where members can come together to combat human trafficking, has proposed legislation to End Human Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (S.2234), an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. This bill seeks to ameliorate the current issue of human trafficking occurring within government contracts abroad. However, despite the fact that an estimated 80% of human trafficking involves sexual exploitation, the bill does not adequately address issues of sex trafficking amongst government contractors.
The End Human Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (2.2234) must better address sex trafficking by making criminal prosecution compulsory for all credible allegations of human trafficking. I propose to make the following revisions to the current language of the legislation to ensure justice in cases of human trafficking. Individuals working as representatives of the United States under government contract must be held to the United States government’s standards of law, regardless of the location of the alleged crime.
Sec. 3. CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS:
The proposed amendments to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7104(g)): “remedial actions authorized under section 5(c) of the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 include actions against grantee, subgrantee, contractor, or subcontractor using any agents who engage in – (i) severe forms of trafficking in persons.” This section should be revised to read “any agents who engage in or fail to monitor - (i) severe forms of trafficking in persons, including sex trafficking, per Sec. 103. DEFINITIONS (8) and (9) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000)”
Sec. 5. MONITORING AND INVESTIGATION OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS.
In section (a), strike “the contracting or grant officer shall, before exercising any option to renew such grant contract or cooperative agreement request” to the end of the sentence and replace with “the contracting or grant officer shall immediately request that a third party investigative officer immediately initiate an investigation of the allegation or allegations contained in the report. The individual under investigation shall be suspended with pay until the investigation has been carried out and, if that individual is found to be innocent as a result of the investigation, he/she shall be reinstated.”
Section (c)(1) revise “the contracting or grant officer shall consider taking one or more of the following remedial actions” to state “the contracting or grant officer must remove the offender and consider taking one or more of the following remedial actions.”
Sec. 6 NOTIFICATION TO INSPECTORS GENERAL AND COOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT
Following “The head of an executive agency making or awarding a grant, contract or cooperative agreement,” replace “shall require that the recipient of the grant, contract, or cooperative agreement” with “shall him or herself take the following actions regarding the recipient of the grant, contract, or cooperative agreement”
Add the following section: “(3) report the investigation and its findings and disclose all related documents to the Attorney General and United States Department of Justice for the pursuance of legal action and the prosecution of the trafficking crimes under U.S. law, in keeping with the prosecution of civilian employees, dependants, or contractors of other federal agencies, as outlined in the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA; H.R. 2136)” This section would supersede the earlier consideration of referral to the Department of Justice in Sec. (5)(c)(1)(H).
Sec. 9. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION
Shall be re-written to say: Excluding section 7 and the added section 6 (3), nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede, enlarge, or diminish the common law or statutory liabilities of any grantee, subgrantee, contractor, subcontractor, or other party covered by section 106(g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7104(g)), as amended by section 3.