Recommendations to Congress for Reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act

Human trafficking continues to be one of the most important challenges of our time. More than 20 years after Congress first passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), traffickers continue to exploit an estimated 25 million people in forced labor around the world, earning over $150 billion dollars annually from this crime. An estimated 15 million more people are trapped in forced marriages.

This year, the TVPA is set to expire and will need to be reauthorized for the sixth time. The TVPA serves as the cornerstone for the U.S. counter-trafficking response and contains the overwhelming majority of authorizations for the policies and programs that drive this important work. As Congress begins its work to reauthorize the TPVA once again, the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) is presenting recommendations we believe will help ensure a successful, strong reauthorization.

We believe it is critical that Congress continues the long history of bipartisanship on TVPA reauthorizations. Combating human trafficking remains a priority across both sides of the aisle. Any legislation introduced and moved through Congress to reauthorize the TVPA must have strong support from both parties.

We also strongly urge Members of Congress to work together to introduce a single, complete TVPA reauthorization bill. For the most recent reauthorization passed in 2018, there were four different pieces of legislation, each reauthorizing a portion of the TVPA. This process was unwieldy and contributed to significant delays. We greatly appreciate the desire of so many Members to contribute to the TVPA reauthorization, but to ensure a more productive, smoother process, we request that offices coordinate to have a single reauthorization bill. We also urge Congress to reauthorize the TVPA for a period of five years.

ATEST recommendations are presented in this document not in priority order, but by categories.

ATEST 2021 TVPRA Recommendations
Authorizations ●     Critical authorization increases to support prevention, survivor protection, and perpetrator prosecution

●     Lengthening the authorization timeline to at least 5 years

Expanding Protections for Survivors ●     Ensuring services in the child welfare system are extended to children in forced labor

●     Comprehensively addressing the nexus between human trafficking and gender-based violence

●     Providing whistleblower protection for trafficking survivors reporting forced labor

●     Updating T-visa standards to expand protections for trafficking survivors

●     Requiring the Department of State to implement post-arrival orientation, in-person monitoring and exit interviews for all visa categories of domestic workers brought by diplomatic personnel

Preventing Trafficking in Global Supply Chains ●     Strengthening regulation of foreign labor recruiters

●     Increasing transparency and improving enforcement of regulations prohibiting trafficking in government contracts

●     Authorizing the International Labor Affairs Bureau – ILAB

Integrating Trafficking Strategies into Foreign Assistance


●     Requiring USAID to integrate anti-trafficking strategies and activities into all international aid programs

●     Requiring the U.S. to oppose international development bank loans that do not have trafficking impact and mitigation strategies in Tier 2 Watchlist and Tier 3 countries


See the full recommendations, authorizations levels, and legislative text here. See a summary here.