September 14, 2010

Honorable Bobby Scott                             Honorable Louie Gohmert
Chairman                                                   Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,          Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,      
and Homeland Security                             and Homeland Security  
U.S. House of Representatives                U.S. House of Representatives
B370 Rayburn House Office Building         B315C Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                             Washington, DC 20515

 

 

Dear Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Gohmert,         

              

On behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), we applaud you and the members of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security for your leadership in conducting a hearing on the critical issue of domestic minor sex trafficking. NCSL shares your commitment to protecting our nation’s youth and ending the horrible practice of sex trafficking and its consequences.

 NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. The organization was founded to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and to ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.

 At our recent Legislative Summit this past July, NCSL unanimously passed a policy resolution addressing human trafficking. This policy condemns the act of human trafficking, calls for state/federal partnerships, an increased dialogue between state and federal policymakers, enhancement of National Criminal Information Center, and requests adequate funding for states to deal with the issues confronting victims of these terrible acts. The passage of this policy shows the importance of the issue and that swift action must be taken. The policy in its entirety is attached.

 In addition to our policy resolution, NCSL has spent the last year increasing awareness and prioritizing the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking through a series of formal educational workshops. These workshops were led and highly attended by state legislators, state legislative staff,  federal representatives, and groups that work with victims. Many state legislators participated in these workshops and shared their experiences and recommendations on curtailing human trafficking in their state. State legislators are concerned about ensuring that state laws are adequate for prosecution of offenders, police officers receive adequate training, and appropriate and sufficient resources are available to victims. NCSL recognizes that states have a vital role to play in virtually all aspects of combating domestic minor sex trafficking and the larger issue of human trafficking.

We hope as the committee continues the discussion of this important topic, that continued outreach and collaboration efforts will be made with the state policymakers. Thank you for your leadership and for holding this hearing on the issue and we hope to work with you in the future. We hope this will begin a constructive conversation about the importance of a strong state/federal partnership on combating all aspects of human trafficking. For more information, please contact Sheri Steisel or Susan Frederick  at (202)-624-5400.

 

Best,

                                       

Senator Renee Unterman, Georgia                              Representative Jerry Madden, Texas
Immediate Past Chair                                                   Immediate Past Chair
Committee on Human Services and Welfare                Committee on Law and  Criminal Justice 

 

CC: Members of the the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives