In the News

News Update

Published July 16, 2014

by Chelsea Matson, News and Policy Associate

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Three Congolese asylum seekers were sent home after testifying against former President Joseph Kabila at the ICC. The three witnesses were afraid for their lives after their testimony, but a Dutch judge felt the DRC had provided enough assurances for their safety to return them home. Read More

Myanmar/Burma: Five journalists were sentenced to ten years in prison with hard labor for publishing an article on a possible chemical weapons facility in the country. The article was originally published in January of this year by the current-affairs magazine, Unity Weekly, but closed soon after the article was published. Read More

Russia: The European Court of Human Rights has decided to expedite its review of Alexei Navalny’s appeal, a Russian activist under house arrest since February. The Russian government is investigating Navalny, an important opposition and anti-corruption activist, for fraud. Read More In Chechnya last week, Russlan Kutaev was convicted of drug possession and sentenced to four years in prison. Human Rights Watch believes his conviction to be a result of Kutaev’s public remarks against the local warlord, Ramzan Kadyrov. Kutaev heads the nonprofit Peoples of the Caucasus’ Assembly, which aims to raise awareness about Chechen history and culture. Read More

Sri Lanka: The Australian government intercepted and returned a boat carrying asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka last week. Australia claims the passengers on board were being trafficked, while the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights believes them to be refugees and the interception is therefore against international law. The boat was carrying 37 Sinhalese and four Tamils. Read More The Sri Lankan Muslim community is concerned that some of its members might radicalize in the wake of recent anti-Muslim attacks. Last month, three people were killed and another 75 injured in clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in southern Sri Lanka. Read More

Thailand: Thai police raided a palm plantation in southern Thailand, discovering ten Rohingya Muslims who had been trafficked from Myanmar. The ten are part of a larger group of 140 who have arrived since May 11. The Rohingya are facing severe persecution in Myanmar; the victims’ families had paid Thai traffickers $1500 to get their loved ones to safety in Thailand, unknowingly selling them into slavery. Read More

 

Legislative Update

Published July 16, 2014

By Chelsea Matson, News and Policy Associate

Human Trafficking

H.R.5043: To amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to direct the Secretary of State to submit reports to Congress on child protection compacts.

Sponsor: Rep Peters, Scott H. [CA-52] (introduced 7/9/2014)

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

H.R.5044: To amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to direct the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking to develop a comprehensive action plan to combat human trafficking.

Sponsor: Rep Peters, Scott H. [CA-52] (introduced 7/9/2014)

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

 

H.R.5079: To amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to provide for the repatriation of unaccompanied alien children, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-42] (introduced 7/11/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Campbell, John [CA-45] – 7/11/2014
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] – 7/11/2014
Rep Cook, Paul [CA-8] – 7/11/2014
Rep Farenthold, Blake [TX-27] – 7/11/2014
Rep Heck, Joseph J. [NV-3] – 7/11/2014
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-50] – 7/11/2014
Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] – 7/11/2014
Rep Joyce, David P. [OH-14] – 7/11/2014
Rep LaMalfa, Doug [CA-1] – 7/11/2014
Rep McClintock, Tom [CA-4] – 7/11/2014
Rep McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” [CA-25] – 7/11/2014
Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-31] – 7/11/2014
Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-22] – 7/11/2014
Rep Rigell, E. Scott [VA-2] – 7/11/2014
Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-48] – 7/11/2014
Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-39] – 7/11/2014
Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] – 7/11/2014
Rep Young, Don [AK] – 7/11/2014

Latest Major Action: 7/11/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

 

H.R.5081: To amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to enable state child protective services systems to improve the identification and assessment of child victims of sex trafficking, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Bass, Karen [CA-37] (introduced 7/11/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] – 7/11/2014
Rep Kline, John [MN-2] – 7/11/2014
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 7/11/2014
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] – 7/11/2014
Rep Paulsen, Erik [MN-3] – 7/14/2014
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-25] – 7/11/2014

Latest Major Action: 7/11/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

 

S.2564: End Trafficking Act of 2014

Sponsor: Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] (introduced 7/7/2014)

Latest Major Action: 7/7/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

Iran

S.2585: A bill to impose additional sanctions with respect to Iran to protect against human rights abuses in Iran, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] (introduced 7/10/2014)

Cosponsors: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 7/15/2014
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 7/10/2014

Latest Major Action: 7/10/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

Iraq

H.RES.663: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution from the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.

Sponsor: Rep Vargas, Juan [CA-51] (introduced 7/10/2014)

Latest Major Action: 7/10/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.