ATEST Applauds Introduction of Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act (S. 256, H.R. 767)

For Release: February 1, 2017

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) applauds the bipartisan, bicameral introduction of the Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act (S. 256, H.R. 767) championed by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Healthcare providers are on the front lines of identifying human trafficking victims. It is essential that they receive the necessary training and resources to better identify and serve victims and respond to all forms of human trafficking. This bill establishes and expands an existing U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) SOAR pilot program aimed at strengthening health care providers’ ability to identify and combat human trafficking through robust training. This training would better equip health care providers to identify victims of human trafficking, to streamline procedures for providers to partner directly with law enforcement, and to provide victim-centered, gender-responsive, and youth-appropriate services.



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. ATEST member organizations include: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), ECPAT­USA, Free the Slaves, Futures Without Violence (FUTURES), International Justice Mission, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Network for Youth (NN4Y), Polaris, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, Verité, and Vital Voices Global Partnership. ATEST is a project of Humanity United Action.