ATEST Endorses House Trafficking Act Reauthorization

The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) is pleased to endorse reauthorization of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act (TVPRA). H.R. 5856, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), and introduced with many bipartisan co-sponsors including Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), has been developed in consultation with ATEST.

The bill includes more than $225 million per year for the next five years in renewed funding authorizations for domestic and international anti-trafficking programs at the Departments of State, Justice, and Health and Human Services. This represents no cutbacks to anti-trafficking funding.

It also includes important policy initiatives, including:

  • Requiring the U.S. Agency for International Development to integrate anti-trafficking strategies and activities into foreign assistance programs.
  • Employment and education programs for trafficking survivors.
  • Grants to schools to teach children about the risks they face of human trafficking.

The trafficking act lapsed more than two years ago. Parts of the bill were reauthorized last year, and ATEST urges House members to pass the remaining reauthorization this month before the congressional year-end break. The bill is bipartisan and not controversial. It has received unanimous support from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

ATEST also urges the Senate to advance two key provisions in its version of the TVPRA (S.920) that are not included in the House bill: increased protection for domestic workers trafficked into America by diplomats and championing anti-trafficking assessments and mitigation efforts in multilateral bank loans.