Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation to train law enforcement officers to recognize and rescue at-risk, trafficked, and exploited children. The Interdiction for the Protection of Child Victims of Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act would ensure that Department of Justice grant funding can be used for training to help federal, state, Tribal, and local law enforcement officers identify child trafficking cases and give critical assistance to victims.
“With the proper training, our dedicated law enforcement officers can better recognize the signs that children are in dangerous situations,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ve always stood up for vulnerable trafficking victims, and this legislation will help get our law enforcement officers additional resources to learn how to keep kids safe.”
“Child trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight, especially when their communities aren’t equipped to detect the warning signs,” said Senator Cornyn. “This bill will help train law enforcement officers on how to identify and prevent the victimization of innocent children, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”
Senator Cortez Masto has been an outspoken advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. In 2020, she passed the bipartisan Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act to help address the epidemic of missing, murdered, and trafficked Indigenous women. She has repeatedly called on the administration to do more to address the epidemic of violence against Native women and girls, including securing federal funding to protect Native communities, urging the administration to draft a plan to address this issue, and requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the federal response to this crisis. She has introduced legislation to combat trafficking via social media and at transportation hubs. In 2019, she introduced an earlier version of the bipartisan Interdiction for the Protection of Child Victims of Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act.