Editor’s note: The following text is of remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) to the House of Representatives announcing a Lifetime TV movie on human trafficking. Concerned Women for America’s Dr. Janice Crouse is pleased to work with Rep. Smith on this pressing and, indeed, life-and-death issue. [Begin Congressional Record Statement]
“Do you think it is possible when you have lost your humanity to ever find it again?”
So asks Helena, a fictitious but all too real human trafficking victim from Prague after describing how she was raped and abused to [Immigration and Customs] law enforcement (ICE) agent Kate Morozov, played brilliantly by Academy-Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino in Lifetime TV Network’s miniseries Human Trafficking, to be aired on [October 24 and 25].
My wife Marie and I watched the entire trafficking movie last night [October 20], and we were moved to tears by this extraordinarily accurate portrayal of sex slavery from the eyes of victims, and the dedicated law enforcement agents trying to effectuate their rescue.
My wife and I and my staff have been fighting sex trafficking, Mr. Speaker, since the late 1990s, when there was utter disbelief about whether or not it even existed. Sadly, it does — big time. I would note parenthetically that I am the prime sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, a comprehensive landmark law that provides for prevention, protection of victims, and prosecution and incarceration of the traffickers. I also sponsored the TPVA Reauthorization Act of 2003 as well as pending legislation–H.R. 972.
The movie tells the individual stories of exploited young women and girls from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Philippines, Romania, Russia, and a 12-year-old girl, an American girl, Annie Gray, who was abducted by traffickers in Manila. ICE agent in charge Donald Sutherland joins Sorvino in bringing down a powerful but clever sex trafficking boss and others who use force, fraud, coercion and even murder to enslave women.
It is time, Mr. Speaker, that the ignorance, the indifference and complicity in human trafficking came to an end. Every year 800,000 people are trafficked around the world. Millions more are trafficked intra-country. And up to 18,000 are trafficked into the U.S. each year. Watch this powerful movie [on Monday and Tuesday, October 24 and 25], Lifetime TV, 9 p.m. Tuesday.[End Congressional Record Statement]