WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 21, 2018) – Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and help survivors restore their freedom, applauded the U.S. Congress today for passing the reauthorization of the nation’s cornerstone anti-human trafficking legislation, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The last TVPA reauthorization expired in September 2017. The collection of bills making up the reauthorization now head to the President.
The TVPA provides the legal foundation for the U.S. government to combat and prosecute human trafficking crimes, and it sets additional policy and provides essential resources to help prevent and respond to victimization. Historically, the TVPA and its reauthorizations have passed with broad bipartisan support.
“We cannot thank our congressional champions and their dedicated staffs enough for working tirelessly on a bipartisan basis to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The funding provided by the TVPA is absolutely essential for survivors of human trafficking to get connected to help and services,” said Joe Huang-Racalto, Polaris’s Director Government Relations. “ We urge the President to sign these bills into law.”
Legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-CA). Versions of the Senate bills were introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The TVPA reauthorization contains a number of provisions aimed at addressing current policy gaps while continuing essential programming. In particular, the bill:
Increases the funding available for victim services.
Requires and sets standards for the training of certain front-line workers in industries like transportation.
Exempts restitution for trafficking survivors from federal taxes.
Modernizes standards to prevent trafficking of domestic workers brought to the United States by employers with certain diplomatic protections.
Bolsters efforts to keep goods made from forced labor from entering the United States, including a national report on goods made by child and slave labor.
Increases support for the survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
Strengthens the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report by ensuring countries are more accurately analyzed and ranked.
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.