To the Editor:
A troubling and depressing issue in our society is the rise of human trafficking. Although we all can sympathize with the horrific atrocities in Nigeria involving the overt kidnapping of innocent school girls, our society is becoming aware of subtle but devastating trends in our very midst.
It is becoming clear that even well-meaning social programs such as foster care, which are conceived to provide for the care of youths without a stable biological family, can become corrupted. Much oversight is needed to protect them.
To this end, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam has joined the effort by supporting HR 4058, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act. This provides oversight of state foster care programs. It amends the Social Security Act to require state plans to show that policies and procedures have been developed to identify and determine action and services for children in its system believed to be victims of sex trafficking or vulnerable to it.
Among other provisions, it requires documenting and reporting to law enforcement authorities of instances of sex trafficking and locating children who have run away from foster care.
The secretary of HHS is required to report to Congress on state efforts to provide special services for children who are victims of sex trafficking.
I have looked at summary of the bill at http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-Congress/house-bill/4058. I commend Roskam for his efforts.
Please voice your support in getting this bill passed.
James R. Thompson