On behalf of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we commend the Commerce Committee, especially Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson, for approving the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), and we congratulate Senator Rob Portman, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and all sponsors of the legislation for a successful mark-up.
NCMEC is encouraged that bipartisan support for SESTA continues to grow and the Internet Association has worked closely with the bill’s sponsors and has now endorsed SESTA.
SESTA (S.1693) ensures justice for child victims of online sex trafficking and clarifies that there is no legal protection for those who participate in the trafficking of children for sex online. Consistent with NCMEC’s mission, this legislation provides a powerful tool to further the rights of child victims, while protecting the work of those who share our mission to reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization.
Over the past five years, 81% of NCMEC’s child sex trafficking reports have related to the trafficking of a child on the Internet. Strong relationships between Congress, the technology industry, law enforcement, and non-profit groups like NCMEC are essential to ensuring a comprehensive response to the horrific crime of online child sex trafficking.
We look forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress to bring SESTA to a vote on the Senate floor and through the House of Representatives so this legislation can get to the President’s desk.
John F. Clark
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children