Take a Stand Against Human Trafficking

Take a Stand Against Human Trafficking

Across the globe and right here at home, millions of people are being exploited for profit. Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, affected some 24.9 million people in 2016 and is estimated to be one of the most profitable forms of transnational crime. Traffickers prey on those who are in vulnerable communities and then force them into labor, exploit them in commercial sexual enterprises, and/or move them across national or state borders against their will. Reports of human trafficking in the United States remained remarkably consistent in 2020, showing that human trafficking was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September, the 2021 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) was introduced in the House by Rep. Christopher Smith (R) and Rep. Karen Bass (D). The bipartisan legislation would provide $1.6 billion over five years to combat forms of modern-day slavery in the United States and around the world. This reauthorization would bolster successful programs enacted by the original TVPRA while also creating new programs and strengthening laws to prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. It provides for the necessary tools and reporting procedures to be made available to the hotel industry to equip staff with information to identify and disrupt suspected instances of trafficking. Additionally, it expands the definition of child trafficking to include online exploitation and grooming.

The TVPRA was first passed in 2000 and provides the legal definition and framework for prosecuting and addressing human trafficking in the United States. Since its initial passage, it has been reauthorized five times and each reauthorization gives survivors, advocates, activists, and legislators the opportunity to create and expand crucial programs that support trafficking victims and help create a safer world for children. Programs that are currently being funded by the previous TVPRA are set to expire soon. It is critical that this legislation is brought to a vote by Congress before survivors lose access to these much-needed services.

Trafficking in persons is a crime against humanity and ultimately a sin. The violence done to the physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of people who are forced into slavery is a violation of the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Tell your member of Congress to support the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021.