September 18, 2017

After Meeting with Mother of Murdered Chicago Trafficking Victim, Duckworth Calls on Congress to Help Stop Child Sex Trafficking


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After meeting with the mother of slain Chicago child sex trafficking victim Desiree Robinson, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today called on Congress to do more to address sex trafficking and protect victims by providing law enforcement and prosecutors with additional tools they need to effectively prosecute offenders and traffickers. At a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing this morning, Duckworth highlighted her support for the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA), which clarifies and strengthens criminal and civil remedies for victims of sex trafficking. Video of the Senator's remarks at the Commerce hearing is available here.

"As the mother of a young child, it's hard to fathom what Ms. Ambrose has gone through, losing her daughter under such horrific circumstances," said Duckworth. "Hearing her story - and hearing the stories of thousands of other American families who have lost loved ones to child sex trafficking - has only sharpened my resolve to address any legal inconsistencies that undermine the pursuit of justice for sex trafficking victims and their families. We must do everything we can to support victims and law enforcement as we work to end online sex trafficking, and SESTA will help make that a reality."

Desiree Robinson's mother, Yvonne Ambrose of Chicago, testified at this morning's hearing about her daughter's victimization by child sex traffickers and tragic murder just before Christmas last year. A photo of Ambrose meeting with Senator Duckworth just before this morning's hearing is available here and video of Ms. Ambrose's testimony at the Commerce hearing is available here. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, which Duckworth is cosponsoring, would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the federal sex trafficking statute to hold websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking accountable at both the Federal and State level.

Every year, thousands of sex trafficking cases are reported across the United States while many more cases go unreported. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 156 of those cases were in Illinois last year. This year, at least 75 additional cases have been reported.