Members of Congress have introduced a bipartisan bill named for American abolitionist Frederick Douglass that would seek to curb human trafficking.
The new legislation, titled the “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2017,” is co-sponsored by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith and California Democrat Rep. Karen Bass.
Seven other sponsors have put their support behind the bill, which would reauthorize $130 million in funding to stop human trafficking and provide aid to victims.
“It is an honor to commemorate Frederick Douglass with this legislation, highlighting his unending dedication to the prevention and eradication of slavery,” Smith said in a statement.
Ken Morris, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative — co-founded in 2007 by descendants of Douglass and Booker T. Washington with the intention of ending modern day slavery — told NBC News this bill has come about at the perfect time.
“Douglass’ bicentennial is in 2018 and as our current president said on February 1, Frederick Douglass has done amazing things,” Morris said. “And whether that’s past tense or present tense we agree because the spirit of Frederick Douglass is with us today, and we are so honored this act is named for him.”
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