Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Walker Co-Sponsored Human Trafficking Legislation Signed by President Trump

April 15, 2018
Blog Post
The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) will give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking.

On Wednesday, April 11th, President Trump signed H.R.1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) into law. U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) was a cosponsor of this legislation in his continued leadership in efforts to combat human trafficking. An important issue in North Carolina, which is among the top 10 states in the nation for trafficking cases.

"Though I am proud of the success we have had in combatting human trafficking, we must do more to ensure that this moral injustice ends and that perpetrators see prosecution," Walker said in February, when FOSTA passed the House. "For too long, sites like Backpage.com have facilitated the exploitation of young women and children for their own financial profit, and have done so using a loophole in a bill passed in 1934. This legislation will bring justice and accountability and promote our principle that all life is invaluable and worth protecting."

Walker’s successful efforts to combat human trafficking include H.R. 460, Human Trafficking Detection Act, which passed the House in 2015 and was signed into law by President Obama as part of S. 178, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. He also introduced the Bettering Resources In Guarding from Human Trafficking (BRIGHT) Act  following feedback from meetings in North Carolina’s 6th District with law enforcement agencies and organizations working to fight human trafficking.

The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 would:

  • Amend Section 230 to allow State authorities to investigate and prosecute websites that facilitate sex trafficking using State criminal statutes that prohibit sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of children.
  • Amend Section 230 to allow victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children to exercise civil remedies, such as the private right of action available to sex trafficking victims in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
  • Amend 18 U.S.C. § 1591, the sex trafficking statute, to define “participation in a venture” in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s 2016 decision in Jane Doe vs. Backpage.com, LLC.
  • Amend 18 U.S.C. § 1591 to clarify that it is unlawful for a provider of an interactive computer service to publish information provided by an information content provider, with reckless disregard that the information is in furtherance of a sex trafficking offense.
The legislation can be read in full here.