Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), Co-Founder of the Victims’ Rights Caucus, and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduced H.R. 5970, the SHAME Act. The bi-partisan bill will ensure that federal judges have the ability to publish the names and photographs of criminals convicted of buying sex from a minor or a sex-trafficking victim. The SHAME Act is designed to allow easy public access to the pictures and information of those in society who would purchase sex from these victims.

“Human Trafficking happens right here in Houston, in our own backyard,” said Congressman Poe. “It’s time to bring an end to trafficking and stop letting these lawless criminals get away with buying and selling human beings. The SHAME Act will ensure that federal judges have the ability to publish the names and photographs of convicted human traffickers and buyers of trafficked victims. We can no longer turn a blind eye to this scourge in our society. Not only will this bill raise public awareness, but it is my hope that it will strike fear and bring shame to all the buyers who will no longer be able to hide in plain sight.”

“I am proud to have worked with Rep. Poe in enacting and advocating for critical anti-trafficking legislation including the JVTA, which has greatly improved services available to victims of human trafficking and revolutionized the way we punish criminals who buy and sell sex with trafficking victims and minors,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The perpetrators of these heinous crimes often operate in the shadows and are too often not brought to justice. This simple bill, the SHAME Act, is another important tool for law enforcement and prosecutors as they protect their communities by cracking down on the demand driving this illegal industry.”

Approximately a year ago, Congressman Poe and Congresswoman Maloney were part of a bicameral, bipartisan team that passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). This act helped police target all persons involved in the buying and selling of human beings while also funding victim services and restitution. The SHAME Act is an extension of the success of JVTA.