Child trafficking is horrific practice that, tragically, is still a serious issue around the globe. A recent survey estimated there are over 150 million children who are victims of human trafficking. These children are torn away from their families and are often forced into a life of slavery and poverty, or worse. This is a grave problem, particularly in developing nations, and it demands our immediate action.

The Child Protection Compact Act, legislation I am co-sponsoring and authored by Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), represents a major advance in the fight to eradicate the trafficking and exploitation of children in developing countries.

The bill establishes an action plan that targets specific nations where the problem is rampant. By targeting these countries, we can focus efforts on a country’s particular circumstances, and work to meet specific eradication goals. The United States State Department will provide support through technical and financial assistance, by working with individuals in local communities in these nations by identifying and implementing strategies to protect children and prosecute perpetrators.

During a time when Washington has spent taxpayer dollars without adequate oversight, I am pleased this bill also includes measures to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of funding and the achievement of the legislation’s goals.

Whether you are a parent, legislator, child advocate or concerned citizen, fighting against child trafficking is an effort everyone can proudly support.