Human trafficking bill gets quick passage in House

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) was pleased with the House’s rapid passage of a bill she introduced to combat human trafficking on Tuesday.

The Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015 will assist health care workers in quickly identifying human trafficking victims. The legislation passed just 11 days after Ellmers  and colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) presented it. 

The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide 10 regional grant awards to medical schools to educate health care personnel, and develop best practices that will help doctors and nurses recognize signs of human trafficking as well as provide methods of intervention for human trafficking victims.

“Human trafficking is a travesty,” Ellmers said. “It is a heinous crime, and it is today’s modern-day slavery. (This has been a bipartisan effort) to stand up for victims of human trafficking and get them on a path for recovery.”

The bill is one of a dozen related to human trafficking that passed the House. Funding for the programs will be raised with appropriations.

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced a companion bill in the Senate last week. 

Ellmers believe the Senate will pass the legislation, and it will be signed into law by the president.