Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit (HTSPU) FY 2017
THE NEED FOR FUNDING AND REPORT LANGUAGE
$6,500,000 for the Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit and report language.
Summary of Program
The Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit (HTSPU) is housed within the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The unit is charged with developing new strategies to combat modern slavery by utilizing the Division’s expertise and expanding its anti-trafficking enforcement across the United States.21
HTSPU is responsible for enhancing, and increasing the number of, the Department’s investigations and prosecutions of significant human trafficking cases, such as multi-jurisdictional cases and those involving financial crimes. HTSPU also provides training, technical assistance, and outreach initiatives to federal, state, and local law enforcement and NGOs.22
HTSPU is headed by experienced prosecutors who have specialized experience prosecuting traffickers and working with victims of all forms of trafficking. The numbers of defendants charged, prosecuted, and convicted in human trafficking cases since 2001 is detailed in the chart below:23
The HTSPU has seen a 550% increase in cases filed since 2008 and needs resources to manage its growing caseload.25 These cases are resource intensive because they are procedurally complex and involve multiple jurisdictions and defendants. Without this critical funding, the Department of Justice will be unable to effectively investigate and prosecute trafficking and slavery cases.
ATEST requests $6,500,000 for the HTSPU. We ask that report language be added encouraging HTSPU and the Anti-Trafficking Coordination teams (a joint DOJ/DHS/DOL program) to work with victim services providers and non-governmental organizations to ensure victims’ needs are met. We also ask for report language that directs HTSPU to report on the number of human trafficking cases it has pursued, disaggregated by type of trafficking, the number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) and federal, state, and local law enforcement who received human trafficking training, and the number of AUSAs who received restitution training for human trafficking victims.
Proposed Report Language
Legal Activities / Salary and Expenses / General Legal Activities
The Committee provides $6,500,000 for the Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit (HTSPU) and encourages HTSPU and the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams to continue working with victim service providers and non-governmental organizations to ensure victim needs are prioritized as part of the overall strategy to combat human trafficking and forced labor in the United States. Furthermore, the Committee directs the Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit (HTSPU) to report to the Committees on Appropriations no later than 120 days following enactment of this Act on (1) the total number of human trafficking cases it prosecuted or assisted in prosecuting within the last three years disaggregated by type of trafficking, (2) the number of (a) Assistant U.S. Attorneys, (b) federal law enforcement, and (c) state and local law enforcement who received training on human trafficking within the last three years that included sex and labor trafficking, disaggregated from those who receive training just on sex trafficking, and (3) the number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys who received training on restitution for human trafficking victims within the last three years.