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No Summer Slowdown Here: Exciting Updates From Washington, DC!
[Updated!] Summer has arrived in DC – a season when the heat and humidity punishes those of us wearing our dark suits. Movement, of any type seems unlikely. Idleness, inaction and inertia look likely to dominate.
Not so this summer – at least when it comes to IJM’s priorities on the Hill. This year IJM’s Advocacy Summit/Call-In Day focused on the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 2283/S.1249) and a Dear Colleague Letter to designate Ghana and the Philippines as focus countries for targeted US Government assistance to combat child sex and labor trafficking.
Update on the below (as of 7.15.2014): The Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 2283) is headed to the House floor for a vote within the next two weeks! This is a big opportunity for us to see this through. We need you to make a quick phone call to your representative and ask them to vote YES when H.R.2283 is up for a vote! Click here for all the information you'll need to make the call today>>
In the three weeks since IJM’s Advocacy Summit/Call-In Day, we have seen unprecedented momentum on the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 2283), which has continued to gain additional cosponsors (currently at 92!). And, last week, it was passed unanimously out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. IJM’s policy team is in regular consultation with House Republican Leadership on bringing it to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. If your representative or senator has yet to co-sponsor, please continue to encourage them to support this bill that will make international human trafficking a priority in U.S.’s foreign policy. (Find out who your representative is and who your senators are, then check the list of co-sponsors in the House and in the Senate to see whether a request or thanks are in order!)
Congressional offices continue to show their support for naming Ghana and the Philippines as model countries to eradicate child sex and labor trafficking. Even though the money won’t come to IJM, it will complement IJM’s casework to rescue and protect children in these countries and prove that justice for the poor is possible. Based off of IJM’s extensive field experience, we believe that naming these countries as partners through Child Protection Compacts will ensure that the $5 million of USG already set aside for this purpose is spent effectively and will have a dramatic impact in the fight against child slavery – and that is something that both parties can support. Here is a list of the current supporters:
Key point: All of this of this progress is directly because your representatives and senators are hearing from you. This is democracy in action! You are giving them the political space to vote their conscience. Will you sign this petition and help us build on our momentum? We are seeking 3k signatures by July 18, and we can't do it without you!
On behalf of IJM’s Government Relations and Advocacy Team, THANK YOU! It is our great joy to partner with you in this work to encourage the U.S. Government to make protecting children from sex and labor trafficking a priority.
IMAGE: The individual pictured above is not an IJM client or an identified victim of a crime.