Today, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed HR 2219, the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act, during a full committee markup. The bill was also passed out of the House Financial Services Committee earlier in the week during a full committee markup. Rep. Keating is a lead sponsor of the bipartisan HR 2219 along with Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Mia Love (R-UT).
“This week's markups underscore two important facts: that human trafficking continues to present a serious challenge for law enforcement that must be addressed, and that the most effective way to do so – as is true with most threats to human security – is in a bipartisan manner,” said Rep. Keating. “I am proud to be a sponsor of this common-sense bill with my colleagues Reps. Royce, Maloney, and Love, which will provide law enforcement and their partners with the tools necessary to prevent human trafficking and hold perpetrators responsible for their horrific crimes. Being successful in eliminating these despicable criminal networks requires a strategic approach, and as I learned as a DA, when confronted by complex security and law enforcement problems, the best way to approach this is to follow the money.”
The International Labour Organization estimated in 2012 that there were nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Human trafficking is one of the top three most valuable criminal enterprises in the world and these criminals are taking advantage of banking and financial institutions for their own gain.
The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act amends the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 to add the Secretary of the Treasury as a member of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. The task force must submit to Congress recommendations for the revision of anti-money laundering programs to specifically target money laundering related to human trafficking.