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William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 adds additional measures to prevent and deter human trafficking.  These measures include technical assistance to foreign governments to increase their capacity to investigate an inspect businesses where they might be trafficked or child labor; technical assistance to foreign governments to provide immigrant groups with information on their rights; and technical assistance to help foreign governments develop legal frameworks to protect and regulate labor. 

In addition, Title IV of the reauthorization incorporates the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008.  The Child Soldier Prevention Act defines a child soldier as anyone under the age of 18 who takes “direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed forces,” who has been forcibly recruited into the governmental armed forces, or who has been recruited by a non-state army.  A child soldier is also anyone under the age of 15 who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces.  Finally, the classification can apply to anyone under the age of 18 who is involved in combat in a support role, such as a cook, porter, or sex slave.  The legislation calls on the United States to condemn the use of child soldiers; establish, support and uphold, international standards related to the use of child soldiers; and expand services to help child soldiers.  In addition, the legislation calls on diplomatic missions to develop a plan for helping child soldiers, and prevents the United States from providing military assistance to any foreign government that uses or permits the use of child soldiers.

The Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008 prohibits the recruitment and use of child soldiers and provides for penalties in the form of fines and up to 20 years in prison for U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident offenders.

 
 

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