SOURCE: OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (O.U.R.)

OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (O.U.R.)

May 14, 2015 15:48 ET

Operation Underground Railroad Founder Tim Ballard Testifies Before Congress About Pending Child Sex Trafficking Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - May 14, 2015) -

WHAT: Testimony of Tim Ballard, Founder and CEO of the non-profit organization OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (O.U.R.) before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations in support of legislation https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/515, which would set up a notification system with destination countries about suspected child sex-trafficking. 

WHO: For 12 years, Tim Ballard served as a U.S. Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, helping infiltrate and dismantle dozens of trafficking organizations that kidnapped children and forced them into sex slavery. As a US agent, he was not authorized to rescue children if their cases lacked a U.S. nexus or couldn't be tried in a U.S. court. He became frustrated by these restrictions and left the US Government to found Operation Underground Railroad in September, 2013. 

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, May 14 at 2:30pm ET; 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

DETAILS: Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

The Honorable Sean Reyes
Attorney General
State of Utah
[full text of statement]

Mr. Tim Ballard
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Operation Underground Railroad
[full text of statement]

Ms. Karla Jacinto Romero
Survivor of Human Trafficking and Advocate
Commission United vs. Trafficking
[full text of statement]

The Honorable Rosi Orozco
President
Commission United vs. Trafficking
(Former Mexican Congresswoman)
[full text of statement]
Invited Witnesses:

Chairman Smith on the hearing: "Our government runs highly-effective sting operations abroad to catch U.S. pedophile sex tourists and rescue victims where there is a nexus to the United States, but often can't conduct rescue operations or run investigations that fall outside U.S. government jurisdiction. Sometimes stepping into this gap are non-governmental rescue operations staffed by former Navy Seals, ex-CIA agents and the occasional sitting member of state government. This hearing will explore the ways the U.S. government and specialized non-governmental actors can coordinate and learn from each to accomplish the goals of rescuing trafficking victims and helping them recover and restore their lives."

Excerpts from Mr. Ballard's prepared statement to the Subcommittee: "I served 12 years as a U.S. Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security. As a member of the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force and the Homeland Security Investigations Child Sex Tourism Jump Team, I helped infiltrate and dismantle dozens of trafficking organizations that kidnapped children and/or abused them or forced them into the commercial sex trade. In 2006, with the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, Congress opened the doors for U.S. agents to better investigate cases dealing with U.S. travelers who would enter foreign countries in order to sexually abuse children. I was one of the first agents assigned to engage these international investigations as an undercover operative posing as a child sex tourist or as a travel agent who specialized in child sex tours. (See link above for entire statement.)

Contact Information