Victims' Rights Caucus



Madam Chairman, I thank the gentlelady from California for yielding, and I want to thank Ms. Matsui and her brave constituent, Laurie Dishman, for bringing this very important issue before Congress.

Every year 10 million American citizens board cruise ships and sail from American ports. These cruise ships are floating cities. But unlike cities, there are no peace officers or properly trained security personnel to protect passengers on board these ships. There is really no oversight or accountability for the cruise industry to properly or timely report secret crimes that occur on ships.

Our amendment just requires the Coast Guard to publicly maintain and regularly update a numerical accounting of crimes and number of missing persons on each ship. This is commonsense. We value information on college campuses, and this Congress under the Cleary Act requires reporting of crimes on college campuses. But when there is a crime on the high sea, it is a public relations cover-up because of the travel industry.

This amendment will create a better-informed passenger and, of course, safer cruise ships.