Roby Speaks on House Floor in Support of Bill to Prevent Crimes Against Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of her bill to combat the sexual exploitation of children in the United States and abroad.
H.R. 1862, the Global Child Protection Act, would close loopholes in current law that allow child predators to evade prosecution for crimes committed overseas. Under current law, certain types of sexual contact are not explicitly covered under the criminal definition of “illicit sexual conduct,” which allows child predators to evade punishment for clearly abusive acts. H.R. 1862 would expand the definition of “illicit sexual conduct” to cover “sexual contact,” thus allowing authorities to crack down on global sex tourism and punish abusers. The bill also seeks to protect the youngest child victims by broadening the sentencing code to see that all types of contact offenses against children under the age of 12 are treated the same as crimes against those between the ages of 12 and 18.
“It is our enduring responsibility to protect those among us who cannot protect themselves. We have an opportunity to do that today with the Global Child Protection Act,” Roby said. "We have dedicated law enforcement professionals working hard every day to protect children and punish abusers, and we need to make sure they have every legal tool at their disposal to do their job."
Roby last week attended a bipartisan listening session on combatting human trafficking hosted by Ivanka Trump at the White House. Speaking from the House floor, she highlighted how White House and Justice Department officials are prioritizing the issue.
“I want to thank our strong partners in the White House and the Department of Justice for their commitment to combating exploitation and abuse here in our country and abroad,” Roby said. “I appreciate Ivanka Trump inviting me and my fellow lawmakers to be a part of this exchange. I believe her involvement and leadership on this issue can be instrumental to achieving results. It also wasn’t lost on me that in his first official act after being sworn-in, Attorney General Sessions presented the President with an executive order strengthening the enforcement of federal law on international trafficking."
Roby’s bill is part of a series of bills aimed to strengthen protections for children. The House on Monday is also considering H.R. 1842, the Strengthening Children’s Safety Act, H.R. 1188, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, H.R. 883, the Targeting Child Predators Act, H.R. 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act, and H.R. 1625, the TARGET Act.