ATEST Advocates for $1.3 Billion in Federal Funding to Combat Human Trafficking and its Root Causes

WASHINGTON – The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) is asking Congress for substantial increases in federal appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023 to combat human trafficking inside the U.S. and around the world.

ATEST’s spending recommendations cover federal programs at the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State, Justice, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (see ATEST letters to congressional appropriations subcommittees here). The recommendations include programs run directly by federal agencies, as well as grants to non-governmental organizations that conduct front-line projects to prevent trafficking and provide services for trafficking survivors.

The $1.3 billion request is a 38 percent increase from ATEST’s FY2022 recommendations, and the first time ATEST has asked Congress for more than $1 billion to confront the global scourge of forced labor and sex trafficking. These extreme forms of exploitation are among the greatest human rights challenges of our time, and they require urgent and robust governmental action.

The U.S. is the one of the world’s largest funders of anti-trafficking programs, and ATEST applauds the bipartisan champions in Congress who have substantially increased appropriations over the past decade. Unfortunately, COVID-19 dramatically increased vulnerabilities to human trafficking, and pandemic after-effects are being seen throughout the world. Inside the U.S., the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by an ATEST member organization, reports the pandemic increased the number of crisis situations by more than 40 percent. An ATEST member organization that provides shelter and support to survivors reports a 556 percent increase in emergency cases and a 455 percent increase in costs for survivor necessities.

ATEST encourages congressional appropriators to increase spending to meet the increased needs. We urge Congress to also increase attention to forced labor, as well as emphasizing strategies for prevention of trafficking and the provision of services to trafficking survivors.

ATEST is a U.S.-based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. We advocate for lasting solutions to prevent forced labor and sex trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, ensure justice for victims, and empower survivors with tools for recovery. Our collective experience implementing programs at home and abroad provides our coalition an unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise.

ATEST member organizations include: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Covenant House, Free the Slaves, HEAL Trafficking, Human Trafficking Institute, Human Trafficking Legal Center, Humanity United Action (HUA), McCain Institute for International Leadership, National Network for Youth (NN4Y), Polaris, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, United Way Worldwide, Verité, and Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Contact: ATEST Director Terry FitzPatrick

Email: [email protected] | Cell: 571-282-9913

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