HARRISBURG – Today, Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) joined other members of the House Judiciary Committee to approve a package of bills designed to combat human trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.
Through force, fraud and coercion, human traffickers push their victims into demeaning forms of abuse, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced marriage and organ removal. Youth are sold and forced to act as child soldiers.
“As human trafficking horrors tend to happen in the shadows, people often feel like it can’t happen to them or the people they love – but that’s simply not true,” Dowling said. “Human trafficking is much closer to each of us than we know, and we need to fight back. That’s why I voted for this package.”
Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry with more than 40 million victims globally. In 2019, Pittsburgh was ranked 10th on the list of top U.S. cities for human trafficking.
The legislative package works to ensure victims are free from danger, protect their privacy and make it safer for them to testify against their abusers.
After receiving unanimous support from the House committee, the package advances to the full House for consideration. The final House vote is anticipated next week.
Since 2007, there have been more than 1,200 cases with nearly 5,000 contacts made through the national hotline to report human trafficking in Pennsylvania.
More information about the package can be found online at pahousegop.com/humantrafficking
Representative Matt Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans