ATEST Commends Senate Efforts to Prevent Human Trafficking
For Release: February 25, 2015
Washington, DC—The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking commends the Senate Judiciary Committee for holding yesterday’s hearing, “Human Trafficking in the United States: Protecting the Victims.” This important event highlighted the necessity of services for all victims of trafficking and pointed to specific policies to help prevent vulnerable youth from being trafficked in the first place.
“ATEST stands with all twenty women of the Senate who requested this hearing, four of whom testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a powerful demonstration of leadership on human trafficking,” said Melysa Sperber, Director of ATEST. “We have to stop treating victims of human trafficking as criminals, and we must ensure that services are in place so that survivors do not return to exploitative or vulnerable situations. We urge Congress to prioritize youth homelessness and other policy solutions that will help prevent trafficking in the first place.”
The Judiciary Committee is considering several bills that address human trafficking. ATEST supports the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), which would strengthen victims’ access to restitution, expand training for law enforcement, and improve data collection on human trafficking. The JVTA also includes the Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act, which creates a council of survivors to advise the federal government on anti-trafficking policy.
ATEST also supports the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
“ATEST believes this piece of legislation can save lives and prevent the trafficking of some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. We hope the Committee considers RHYTPA at the earliest time in the appropriate form,” said Sperber.
The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (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 labor and sex trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, ensure justice for victims and empower survivors with tools for recovery.