Tell Congress to Llisten to Survivors and Strengthen Efforts to End Modern Slavery

Almost 14 years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, there is now a substantial group of identified survivors of human trafficking who are poised to inform U.S. policy, public awareness and educational efforts, and programmatic and funding decisions. Their voices need to be heard.

Members of Congress: Listen to survivors and pass HR 500, establishing a survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Why is this important?

“As a young child here in Kentucky, my nightmare began when I was first auctioned off to a willing buyer and sexually abused. That scenario played out repeatedly in hotel rooms and private homes until I finally escaped at age 18 — far too late to prevent numerous mental and physical health problems.” [1] – Margeaux Gray

Today, Margeaux Gray is a powerful anti-trafficking advocate, who has testified before U.S. state legislatures and helped drive the enactment of legislation that strengthens victim protections. Human trafficking survivors are in the best position to advise which policies and practices work, and creating a survivor-led platform like the U.S. Advisory Council values survivors beyond their trauma story.

Human trafficking is a complex and serious crime that tears at our social fabric. Efforts to combat this crime must be equally complex – victim-centered, comprehensive, and trauma-informed. Because they were once victims of sex or labor trafficking, modern slavery survivors have the most direct and intimate knowledge of the harm caused by their trafficking situations and should have a say in what it takes to stop the problem.

The U.S. Government does not have an institutionalized structure to listen to trafficking survivors when crafting policies and anti-trafficking initiatives. As awareness of human trafficking grows, we are stepping up to address this atrocity. If Congress would listen to survivors when it comes to policy-making, then laws combatting human trafficking and modern slavery would lead to more effective solutions.

Representatives Honda, Bass, Poe and Davis introduced legislation (HR 500) that would enable the federal government to take a victim-centered approach by being meaningfully informed by modern slavery survivors. This legislation is vital to helping our government implement the most effective anti-trafficking policies and programs by establishing the first ever survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Survivor voices must be heard. This platform would value survivors beyond their story and strengthen government-wide plans and solutions to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. Tell Congress to listen to survivors.



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.

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