Sinema-Supported Bill to Fight Human Trafficking Passes Committee

Legislation supported by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) to fight human trafficking passed the House Financial Services Committee. Sinema is a cosponsor of H.R. 6729, the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act. The bill empowers qualified nonprofits to share information and report potential human trafficking and money laundering activities to financial institutions and law enforcement.

“This is another important step in our fight to stop human traffickers,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “Nonprofits are on the front lines of the fight against human trafficking, working with victims, collecting crucial data, and much more. Our bill enhances their efforts by allowing collaboration in real time with financial institutions and law enforcement. I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congresswoman Wagner and Congresswoman Maloney on this tough, smart approach to stop traffickers and protect victims.”

The bill also directs the Treasury Secretary to create a tough, rigorous process to ensure financial institutions obtain critical and accurate insights that allow them to freeze assets and stop the financing of human traffickers.

Sinema has spent her entire career standing up for victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse. In her first job – working at a domestic violence shelter – she worked with women and girls who were survivors of rape and domestic violence. As a school social worker, Sinema served children in the Sunnyslope community for almost a decade.  She drew on these experiences in the state legislature, where she worked across the aisle to pass reforms that increased penalties for human traffickers.

In the House, Sinema has been a leader in the fight against sex trafficking. In 2014, she helped pass comprehensive legislation to expand the resources available to trafficking victims and improve government agencies' response to the problem. Sinema also cosponsored legislation to criminalize the advertisement of innocent victims being forced into sex trafficking. That bill, the SAVE Act, was signed into law in 2015.

Recently, Sinema cosponsored the Fighting Online Sex Trafficking Act, which became law in April. The bill empowers local law enforcement to bring websites that facilitate or promote sex trafficking to justice. Last year, the Congresswoman co-sponsored the TARGET Act, which improves State Department efforts to counter human traffickingand was signed into law in March. Sinema continues to work towards passage of the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, of which she is a cosponsor. The bill ensures that the State Department places a high priority on its work to fight human trafficking.