Victims' Rights Caucus

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 CONTACT: Lacey Hanson
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TEXAS MEMBER OF CONGRESS REP. TED POE NAMED ìABOLITION CHAMPIONî IN NEW ANTI-SLAVERY ONLINE ACTION CENTER

FreedomCommons.org provides first-ever ratings of members of congress and anti-slavery support; equips Texas residents to connect and take action in their communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 22, 2012)óInternational Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that brings rescue for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression, launched The Freedom Commons (freedomcommons.org), an online destination for anti-slavery advocates to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking.             

As part of the siteís congressional scorecard, a tool that enables Americans to track support of anti-slavery policies by members of congress, Rep. Ted Poe (R-02) from Texas was rated ìChampion,î the scorecardís highest tier.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-02) was recognized for co-sponsoring the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (H.R. 4259), the International Violence Against Women Act of 2010 (H.R. 4594), the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010 (H.R. 5575), among many other actions tied to the support of anti-trafficking and victim protection laws.

On FreedomCommons.org, Texas residents can promote strong anti-trafficking legislation at the federal and state level through engaging in action-based campaigns, find local anti-trafficking events in Texas and connect with others in their local community and around the country.

The siteís first national call to action is directed towards the future U.S. president and calls on 25,000 Americans to urge both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney to make ending slavery in the U.S. and around the world a priority in the next term if elected. Other priorities include passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, the blueprint for U.S. leadership in the fight against trafficking at home and abroad, and a campaign asking major supermarket chains to guarantee slavery-free tomatoes.

IJM led a critical online movement in the U.S. this year, garnering 73,000 signatures for an anti-slavery petition asking President Obama to exert his leadership and eliminate slavery in the U.S. supply chain. On September 25, one of IJMís main asks in the petition was met, as the President addressed the issue of modern day slavery and delivered an executive order to eradicate slavery in U.S. government contracts, while also explicitly recognizing IJM as leader in the abolitionist movement.

Already working at the forefront of anti-slavery casework in several developing countries around the world, IJM created The Freedom Commons to amplify the social demand of millions of Americans and empower them to lead the charge to eradicate modern-day slavery.

ìAdvocates absolutely make a differenceóespecially today when individuals are equipped with more online and offline tools than ever to create social demand and build political will,î said Holly Burkhalter, vice president of government relations at International Justice Mission. ìThe Freedom Commons will empower advocates further ñ to learn more about what their o