Costello Applauds Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation Being Signed into Law
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06), a member of the Human Trafficking Caucus, applauded the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) being signed into law this week. The legislation gives law enforcement additional resources and tools to hold websites accountable in the fight against online sex trafficking. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in Pennsylvania, sex trafficking is the most frequent type of trafficking, accounting for 154 of 562 calls in the Commonwealth in 2017.
“Online safety is a critical component in the fight to end human trafficking, as online ads are one of the most frequently utilized methods for trafficking in Pennsylvania. Because of this legislation, law enforcement officials will have even more support for their work to stop online trafficking,” said Rep. Costello.
Rep. Costello supported FOSTA on the House Floor and in the Energy and Commerce Committee, where it was initially considered and was the subject of a Subcommittee hearing to examine combatting online sex trafficking.
Since the bill passed Congress, some websites began to take down parts of their pages that could have been subject to conditions of the legislation. Backpage.com was also seized last week by the federal government and has been the centerpiece example of illegal sex trafficking during previous Energy and Commerce Committee hearings.
This week, the House considered and passed an additional bill to help combat human trafficking. The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act would help curtail the ability of human traffickers to access the financial system by implementing stronger safeguards in identifying money laundering related to human trafficking.