Republican congressman Vern Buchanan joined with Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to introduce the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act in Congress. The bill’s aims are modest and Wasserman-Schultz’s name on the bill might turn off some Republicans. But Buchanan is at least signaling that he plans to amp up the fight against human trafficking with legislation that allocates money for prevention, and with the terminology that he uses to describe the modern slave trade.

The bill, priced at $75 million in spending over five years, is intended to provide grants to nonprofit organizations to teach educators and students in schools about human trafficking awareness. Florida is rife with human trafficking, ranking third among all states in 2021 in number of National Human Trafficking Hotline case reports. NATIONAL FILE has extensively reported on the Child Protective Services (CPS) crisis in America, which is linked to child sex trafficking. My documentary Save the Babies: A Documentary on CPS Child Trafficking tells true stories from the front lines of the push to stop child exploitation.

Congressman Vern Buchanan stated, “Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. As we close National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we need to prioritize educating students and teachers about the horrors of this monstrous crime. This is critical to helping current victims and preventing future instances of trafficking, which is especially important in hotspots like Florida. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz to help spread awareness and protect our most vulnerable.”

Washington has been notoriously slow to get serious about stopping human trafficking, and the government proves itself to be outright complicit in modern-day slavery by failing to secure America’s southern border, where crime cartels push literal human slaves into the United States to meet a horrible and uncertain fate in the American criminal underground. If a Republican congressman is at least willing to call human trafficking what it is, “modern-day slavery,” hopefully political momentum will pick up steam to stop the barbaric practice.