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July 28, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Hearing on the Role of Technology in Countering Human Trafficking

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittees on Investigations & Oversight and Research & Technology are holding a joint hearing titled, “The Role of Technology in Countering Trafficking in Persons.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

I want to thank Chairman Foster and Chairwoman Stevens for holding this important hearing, and I want to thank our witnesses for joining us here today. As many of you know, July 30th is the U.N. World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. It is thus very timely for the Science, Space, and Technology Committee to convene a hearing to discuss how research and technology can be leveraged to help address the horrific problem of human trafficking.

The Federal government can and should do more to invest in research and technology to deal with the many facets of the causes and consequences of human trafficking. Earlier this year, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system received funding to help identify and adopt specific measures to address human trafficking. In order to ensure such money is being used to implement science-driven, effective approaches to reducing trafficking, we must invest in the promising work being done by scientists across the country. From analyzing illicit online activity, to identifying potential victims and perpetrators of human trafficking, to understanding and addressing the needs of victims as they reenter society, the research community has much to contribute to this important fight.

As we battle a worldwide pandemic, we must not forget about the perennial problem of human trafficking, which touches every country and every state. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how this Committee and this Congress can support the research community’s important work.

Thank you, I yield back.