Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced legislation, Improving Outcomes for Youth at Risk for Sex Trafficking (IO YOUTH), that will help combat domestic youth sex trafficking in the United States.
“There is an epidemic of abuse that is taking place in America today. Some estimates have found hundreds of thousands of children and youth are at risk of domestic sex trafficking. Making matters worse, up to 60 percent of sexually exploited children are recruited out of our nation’s child welfare and foster care systems,” Hatch said. “We owe these young people better than this. This legislation I am introducing today addresses some of the endemic and wide spread conditions in the child welfare and foster care systems that make children and youth particularly vulnerable to being sexually trafficked. It doesn’t add a penny to our debt and, most importantly, helps protect our children from the most vile kind of abuse and victimization.”
This legislation requires states to show that they have policies in place to identify youth who are believed to be at risk of being trafficked. It provides youth in foster care with more control over decisions affecting their lives and promotes policies to recruit and train quality foster parents. Furthermore, the legislation redirects funds from the Social Services Block Grant program to provide states with resources to keep children safely at home, improve the court system, support adoption and to provide housing to trafficked and other vulnerable youth.
Learn more at the St. George News article: Hatch introduces legislation to combat domestic child sex trafficking.