Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IJM working with Congress to protect children world-wide

Dear Friends,

Knowing that you have supported IJM’s efforts in Congress to strengthen U.S. anti-slavery policies, we thought you would be pleased to learn that IJM’s top legislative priority, the Child Protection Compact Act, was introduced in the Senate last week!  Just before the Senate broke for the Easter recess, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced this legislation which, if passed, would grant new authority and resources to the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP).

As many of you know who have worked so hard promoting this legislation in your own districts and states, the Child Protection Compact Act (HR 2737/S.3184) is aimed at eradicating trafficking in children in select “focus countries” that will receive multi-year assistance to build public justice systems that investigate crimes against children and prosecute perpetrators in numbers sufficient to deter and eventually eliminate the crime.  The legislation also authorizes increased assistance for victim care.  An important feature of the new legislation is the requirement that “focus countries” and the United States agree on a “Child Protection Compact” that sets measurable objectives for rescuing and caring for exploited children and prosecuting perpetrators. 

We at IJM are grateful to Senators Boxer, Brownback and Cardin for their leadership on this important legislation.  Despite an ambitious Congressional agenda this year, the Senate bill was introduced thanks to them and to the enthusiastic grassroots support from their states, including many of IJM’s constituents.  Local leaders such as Jocelyn White and Mark Fisher in California volunteered tirelessly to make sure Senator Boxer knew it was an issue that her constituents cared about and helped make it a priority for her.  All of your efforts to get your Representatives on board (to date nearly 100 House members are co-sponsors!) helped to build support in Congress and bring about the Senate’s introduction of the bill. Every call, letter, or meeting with your local Representative makes a difference and helps us further leverage this legislation.  Now we need to work for passage in both the House and Senate!

We’ll be contacting those of you in CA, KS, and MD to ask for your help with thanking your Senators for their leadership on this issue.

Please see below for a copy of the press release from Senator Boxer’s office. 

Many, many thanks for all your help bringing us one step closer to the finish line!

Holly, Eileen, Erica, and Annick
IJM’s Government Relations team