DOJ/ The National Human Trafficking Resource Center FY 2017
THE NEED FOR FUNDING AND REPORT LANGUAGE
$2,500,000 to support the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) as authorized by section 107(b)(1)(B)(ii) of the 2000 TVPRA as amended (22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(B)(ii)).
Summary of Program
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. The hotline is used to collect tips on human trafficking cases, to connect victims with anti-trafficking services in their area, and to provide training and technical assistance and specific anti-trafficking resources. The NHTRC receives calls and provides services to both domestic and foreign national victims of human trafficking.
The number of cases reported to the hotline and overall call volume have increased dramatically since 2007. In 2015, 5,544 cases of human trafficking in the United States were reported to the NHTRC, and the hotline received a total of 21,947 calls, along with 2,810 emails and online tips. This is over 500 more cases and over 500 more calls than the hotline received in 2014. Putting this into further perspective, the NHTRC received just 3,516 calls in 2008. Since 2007, the NHTRC has identified 24,156 cases of human trafficking and close to 24,000 victims.
Not only is the overall volume of cases and calls increasing, but the amount of calls received directly from survivors has also increased. In 2015, 16% of the calls came directly from victims and survivors. By contrast, 12.7% of the 2014 calls and 10.5% of the 2013 calls came from victims and survivors. This steady increase demonstrates that this community is continuing to recognize the hotline as a safe, beneficial resource for assistance.
While the costs of operating the hotline have continued to rise, in large part due to increased call volume, government funding for the hotline has stayed relatively flat. In FY 2017, the total cost of operating the hotline will be approximately $2,500,000. However, in FY 2016, HHS provided only $1,000,000 in funding, and in prior years, HHS provided just $800,000 per year.
The NHTRC has proven to be a strong return on investment, as demonstrated by the tremendous amount of cases and victims it has identified and calls it receives compared to the low funding levels it requires. In the the FY 2016 omnibus appropriations package, Congress included in the report language direction to HHS to “increase funding for the national human trafficking hotline to help respond to increased call volume and overall need for services.” In order to allow the NHTRC to maintain its high level of service and handle the continuing rise in call volume, we request $2,500,000 for the NHTRC in FY 2017.
Proposed Report Language
The Committee recommends $2,500,000 to support the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) as authorized by section 107(b)(1)(B)(ii) of the 2000 TVPRA as amended (22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(B)(ii)).