(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Today the House of Representatives passed HR 2200 the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (TVPRA). This important legislation was sponsored by Representative Chris Smith—author of the original Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 and the 2016 recipient of Shared Hope’s Lifetime Pathbreaker Award—along with lead co-sponsor Karen Bass. The bill also passed with strong bipartisan support from 27 co-sponsors, including Representatives Ted Poe, Anne Wagner and Susan Davis.
HR 2200 continues the protections established in the Landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, with a particular focus on preventing trafficking through educating children and other at-risk populations on how to avoid trafficking victimization, promoting trauma-informed services and access to housing for homeless and foster youth, and encouraging credible and effective use of the trafficking tier ranking system by the U.S. Department of State in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
As an endorser of this bill, Shared Hope International is pleased to see the authorization of $520 million dollars in funds being allocated to enhance the fight against human trafficking over the next four years.
“This vote in the House today is a strong sign the US is committed to addressing the crime of juvenile sex trafficking with substantial investment,” commented Linda Smith, President and Founder of Shared Hope. “Shared Hope is committed to continuing advocacy at the federal and state level to ensure our laws reflect our societal commitment to prevent trafficking and to treat these children as survivors of a crime and ensuring their protection while punishing any actor involved in their exploitation.”
The House also passed HR 2480, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act. This critical legislation addresses the fuel that keeps trafficking markets alive: demand for commercial sex. Under HR 2480, law enforcement could compete for federal funding specifically to develop and execute sex trafficking demand reduction programs. These additional resources empower local law enforcement agencies to invest in demand reduction efforts to prevent and end the exploitation of sex trafficking victims.