Over 20 million people around the world are in forced labor, including situations of human trafficking. We must continue to speak out for those who are vulnerable.
Trafficking, one form of violence against children, can have a long-lasting impact on the health, development, and education of a child. So, to find a lasting solution, we must take a comprehensive approach that considers the root causes for vulnerable children through multiple sectors. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is the United States’ foundation to fight human trafficking domestically and abroad and will expire soon.
The problem is large – more than 20 million people are affected globally, including 5.5 million children, who make up 25 percent of forced labor victims. These children deserve protection and prevention to have the best chance to thrive.
When the Trafficking Victims Protection Act passed in 2000, it was built upon the 3 Ps of ending trafficking—prevention, prosecution, and protection. In 2009, the State Department added a 4th P—partnership; a recognition that we all must work together to end trafficking in persons. Now, it is time for this bill to be reauthorized again.
This bill has key provisions to help prevent and end trafficking including:
- The Trafficking in Persons report, an annual publication that holds over 180 governments around the world accountable for human trafficking trends in their countries.
- Protection of unaccompanied children who arrive in the U.S. from countries not bordering the U.S.
- Incorporation of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act that directs the State Department to identify governments recruiting or using children in their armed forces and to withhold key forms of military assistance.
- Recognition of the importance of critical U.S. agencies that fund programs to fight child labor.
The TVPA is designed to be reauthorized to keep up with the evolving strategies and tactics of human traffickers. Each reauthorization of the TVPA has built on a strong foundation to protect children from exploitation and violence. For this bill to continue to be a leading policy that creates lasting positive impact, it cannot be allowed to expire. Currently, this bill has been introduced in the House as the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act (HR. 2200). Ask your representative to cosponsor this bill today.