Enough is Enough
Bulktransporter 5906 Enough Is Enough 0

USMCA maintains legal protections against sex trafficking

Oct. 3, 2018
USMCA maintains legal protections against sex trafficking

Enough Is Enough (EIE) is pleased the US Trade Representative (USTR) is keeping intact both state and local legal protections for sex trafficking victims in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is another victory for children and families as website companies who knowingly facilitate sex trafficking will not be able to seek immunity for their crimes, according to Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough.

EIE and coalition partners reached out directly to the White House to implore the administration to remove from the agreement language similar to previous wording of Section 230 of the United States’ Communications Decency Act (CDA)--language tech companies tried to stealthily insert in an attempt to bring back sex trafficking immunity provisions in the United States and expand them to our neighboring countries.

Had this language remained, the trade deal would have would have served to protect companies that profit off sex trafficking, derailing recent victories achieved on behalf of sex trafficking survivors, according to Rice Hughes.

EIE is grateful the White House was swift to respond, as were members of Congress whom EIE advocates contacted asking immunity not be an option for website executives who knowingly facilitate sex trafficking.

FOSTA ("Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act,”) which amended CDA Section 230, fulfilled a promise by then-candidate Trump, who in 2016 signed Enough Is Enough’s Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge promising to advance public policies and provide law enforcement with the resources and tools needed to investigate and prosecute Internet crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. 

This is another needed and significant "win" for sex trafficking survivors and victims of sexual exploitation, but our work is far from done,” Rice Hughes said. “We must aggressively enforce obscenity laws that have not been enforced since the Bush/Ashcroft Department of Justice efforts.

“It is imperative that Attorney General Sessions begin to prosecute these cases and protect all victims of sexual exploitation, enforcing the very laws designed to protect them. It’s time to drain the cyberswamp.”