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The 2019 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act: A Topical Summary and Analysis of Four Bills

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), originally passed in 2000, was amended for the 9th time at the end of the 115th Congress. In somewhat uncommon fashion, the full set of changes reauthorizing, changing and expanding upon the programs of the TVPA, as amended, were passed in four separate bills in both December of 2018 and in the early days of January 2019. On behalf of Polaris, this document provides a comprehensive policy review of the 2019 TVPA with a specific focus on the implications of the new or renewed authorities, appropriations, impacts on survivors and victim services and other specific areas.

This analysis looks at how these bills work together to change the U.S. Government policy regime and laws related to human trafficking. It examines how different entities in the U.S. government are charged with preventing or addressing trafficking, assisting survivors, and ensuring a comprehensive government response and collaboration with state and local governments. It also looks at important provision related to survivors, enforcement, reduction of demand for human trafficking, changes to criminal law, provisions on labor trafficking and child sexual exploitation, changes to the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, and impact on immigration law and protections, among other topics. It examines congressional authorizations under these bills for funding, shifts in authority, and new structures or partnerships created as tools for government action.

The four bills comprising the most recent reauthorization of the TVPA are:

  • H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA).
  • S. 1311, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017, sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
  • S. 1312, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017, sponsored by Senator Chuch Grassley (R-IA).
  • S. 1862, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017, sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
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