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Rep Chris Smith (R-Hamilton)

Smith tells prosecutors to help fight human trafficking

GOP congressman cites study that 36% of child sex industry victims are male

By David Wildstein, November 24 2019 5:14 pm

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) today told the County Prosecutor’s Association of New Jersey that federal human trafficking laws and an international Megan’s Law are helping but still need more assistance from local law enforcement.

“Do we need more laws? Maybe. But more than anything else, we need to further prioritize combating human trafficking, especially through prosecution,” Smith told the group during a meeting in Atlantic City today. “More must be done to protect the weakest and most vulnerable from this cruelty.”

Smith said that thousands of human traffickers are now in prison as a result of the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act he sponsored more than 20 years ago, when some lawmakers though the term applied to drugs and weapons, not people.

A study cited by Smith said that boys are making up a growing percentage of child victims – about 36% of those forced into the U.S. sex industry.

“We know that traffickers exploit children due to their lack of awareness about the threat and a child’s vulnerability can be compounded by poverty, a previous history of abuse and neglect, institutionalization, running away from home, being an unaccompanied minor, disability, belonging to a minority group, lacking citizenship or birth registration, being an asylum seeker, refugee or internally displaced persons,” Smith said.

Smith, the lone Republican in the New Jersey congressional delegation, has been the prime sponsor of five laws to combat domestic and international sex trafficking.

The International Megan’s Law approved in 2016 requires the U.S. Department of State to stamp “sex offender” on the passports of Americans traveling abroad.

Thankfully, the law is working.  In just over two years, the U.S. government has notified foreign governments of the planned travel of 10,541 covered sex offenders to their countries. As of July—3,681 individuals who were convicted of sex crimes against children were denied entry by these nations.

As a Special Representative for Combatting Human Trafficking in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe – the Helsinki Commission – Smith has been pushing for reciprocity so foreign governments to warn the U.S. when convicted pedophiles intent to travel here.

“Today as never before, traffickers are using internet communication technologies to lure children into trafficking,” Smith said.

2019-24-11 Trafficking Atlantic City County Prosecutors Conference (2)
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9 thoughts on “Smith tells prosecutors to help fight human trafficking

  1. What Rep. Smith does not mention that most “human trafficking” is run-of-the-mill prostitution between consenting adults,but human trafficking also includes non-sexual trafficking like assisting those who cross the border without visas. He is also proud of marking US passports when only two other nations have ever done the same — Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Smith is the stereotypical lying, pandering Republican. What skeletons are in his closet?

  2. Please tell me how IML is preventing sex trafficking? Probation and Parole does not allow most state-wide travel, let alone international travel. Therefore all these 3,000+ citizens denied travel were law-abiding citizens at the time of denial. Show me evidence that those traveling had intentions of human trafficking? Or was it more that they wanted to join their families on vacation or got denied working abroad? If you can show me evidence that IML is working other than it being pure conjecture please feel free to email me, because I am very interested in this phantom research. If it is conjecture, please update these post to say in your opinion, IML is working because that’s all it is. Not fact. Thanks.

  3. I would like to see whatever evidence exists that enables this journalist to say that IML is “working” and sex trafficking has decreased due to it. I would like to see evidence that any of the over 3,500 individuals with previous sexual offense convictions were traveling for the purpose of sex trafficking. What is the measure that is used to determine that sex trafficking has decreased due to IML?

  4. This is utterly ridiculous. Rep. Smith continues to wallow in the delusion that this law was addressing human trafficking. IML is based on two basic assumptions: 1) that sex trafficking activities are the work of registered citizens, and 2) that registered citizens only travel overseas to try to obtain illicit sex. Both assumptions are horribly wrong. Human trafficking is the product of unscrupulous entrepreneurs, who mercilessly victimize vulnerable youths (and women) to utilize them for slave labor and/or sex trade. Their motivation is money, not sex. There has never been any evidence correlating those who ply in human trafficking and those who are on sex offender registries. Further, 30 years of research, much of it by federal and state governments, has clearly demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of registered citizens will never commit another sex offense. Registered citizens, like anybody else, have many legitimate reasons to travel overseas, including work, vacations, mission trips, conferences, etc. IML has resulted in endless disruption of innocent, legitimate travel, including unreasonable delays, interrogations, denial of entry at the destination (causing the loss of the value of the plane tickets), not to mention the humiliation of having to carry around an advertisement that one committed a sex crime sometime in his or her past. In short, Rep. Smith just zeroed in on registered citizens as an easy scapegoat on whom to lay the blame for human trafficking and created IML to heap harassment on them.

    The claim presented here is that IML is working and Rep. Smith cites the fact that countries have been notified of registered citizens’ travel and that many citizens have been denied entry because of this notification. But there is no evidence at all that the two have any relationship to one another. There are no trafficking statistics cited, nor is there any reason to believe that any of the people harassed by the government in their travels had any connection to human trafficking. Rep. Smith needs to get some serious education before passing any more of his hateful bills.

  5. IML is not working at all. The only thing it is doing is giving people jobs and wasting what should be limited resources that should instead be used to do useful work. We understand that “people” like Smith think government has no limits in spending and government can’t ever be too big, but he’s wrong.

    All IML does is harass people trying to live normal lives like anyone else. That’s it. Just like the Registries.

    No American can support Registries. But Nazis have always loved them. Those people need to die ASAP.

    Wage war on Registry Nazis.

  6. What is hilarious about the failed IML and Registries is that they’ve bred complete mistrust, contempt, and disrespect for law enforcement. And THAT actually matters.

    Remember that “if you see something, say something” nonsense? Forget it.

  7. When has “human trafficking” been reduced to involved only those individuals related to sexual activity? Most of the cheap foreign crap on the shelves in your WalMart store is produced by victims of human trafficking. But pay more than $10 for a pair of Jeans? Soccer Moms around the country would revolt!

  8. Rep. Smith,
    I’d like to hold you to the same standards expected of my organization, scholars, educated people:
    Truth with data!

    Where are your citations?
    Any1 can claim anything. Without the data shame on us (joe and Jane public) for buying it and not holding your feet to the fire to produce your data.

    Just the idea that Americans are having their passports stamped with this egregious label should make us ashamed for bad law, bad policy. Give us laws that do good, not incite the matter with no data to support. I want to respect the law give me some laws worthy of respect.

    With your initial MO work/law, the data shows public notification has done nothing to NJ stats. Before ML and after ML same small sexual reoffense recidivism.

    Cindy Prizio
    One Standard of Justice
    (For citations)

  9. IML is not working at all. The ONLY thing it is doing is growing out-of-control big government, giving marginally employable people jobs, and harassing people. That is all it is doing. That is likely the intent so I guess people could say it is working as designed.

    IML is just like the Registries themselves in that they are nothing but a brainless fantasy that they could ever do anything useful. No expert ever supported Registries and certainly no one with any sense thinks IML does anything useful. It is trivial to prove that Registries aren’t needed or beneficial. If they were only worthless, perhaps they could exist in peace. But they are much, much worse than merely worthless. They have damaged all of America and that continues every single day, all day. So all U.S. citizens have paid and will continue to do so.

    “People” like Chris Smith are a danger to children everywhere.

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