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Trump Signs Anti-Trafficking Law Named after Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

01-09-2019

President Donald Trump has signed into law the Frederick Douglass Act, a bill authorizing $430 million to combat human trafficking.

The measure, which was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), is designed to boost government efforts to prevent sex and labor trafficking and protect victims both nationally and internationally.

The $430 million will be used over four years to fund the following:

  •  Shelter and counseling for victims;
  • Training airline employees to spot potential victims;
  • Oversight to make sure government purchases do not employ traffickers;
  • Prevention education for children;
  • Facilitation of anti-human trafficking supply chains in US commerce.

The legislation received bipartisan support, with Rep. Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, co-sponsoring the bill. The legislation is named in honor of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass fought to abolish the institution. Serving as an American diplomat, he was the US minister and consul general to Haiti for three years.

"In the fight to end modern day slavery, my law honors the extraordinary legacy of one of the greatest Americans who ever lived," Rep. Smith said in a press release.

The release also included a statement from Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the great-great-great-grandson of Douglass.

"If my great ancestor were here today, I believe he would be driven to lead the struggle against contemporary forms of slavery," Morris stated.

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