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Sex Traffic Rises, Along With Scramble for Solutions
WeNews: This week, new statistics on rising sex traffric in the United States were released, as a congressional bill on human trafficking is readied for voting. Activists continie to debate on solutions to prostitution and sex trafficking, with some supporting criminalization of prostitutes while others lean towards punishing those who purchase sex.
"The ongoing challenges of international trafficking were highlighted June 14 by the State Department's annual release of trafficking figures, which estimated 12.3 million adults and children were trafficked in 2009, at a rate of 1.8 people per 1,000 worldwide.
These statistics come out as Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican and co-chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus, is co-sponsoring a bill to establish an international registry of known sex offenders to help foreign and U.S. law enforcement agencies crack down on underage sex tourism also linked to trafficking. The Smith bill, called the International Megan's Law, was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 28 and could come up for a House vote in the next few weeks, Smith said.
But while sex trafficking and awareness of it are both on the rise, the appropriate responses are still a matter of some debate and controversy, particularly concerning the criminal treatment of prostitution."