“Congress has been extremely busy introducing legislation addressing human trafficking, as we called on them to do last month. Under Senator Grassley’s (R-IA) leadership, the Judiciary Committee unanimously passed two critical human trafficking bills. First, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), improves victim services while also enabling law enforcement to crack down on human trafficking. Also, the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act, sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would protect minors involved in commercial sex and provides additional support for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.
In addition, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN) bold End Modern Slavery Act. This bill would help increase funding for global human trafficking efforts by establishing a $1.5 billion public-private fund.
We applaud the Senate for moving this legislation forward. But today, we need you to tell the Senate to support the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). This bill has stood for 40 years to help the most vulnerable children find shelter, food, and other necessary services. The programs funded under this bill are critical to preventing human trafficking. Please take action now by urging your Senator to support this bill.
Polaris’s data from human trafficking hotlines proves why modern slavery requires U.S. government action. In 2014, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline received a 26% increase in calls directly from survivors of human trafficking. In total, 19,724 cases of human trafficking have been reported through the NHTRC and Polaris’s BeFree texting helpline since 2007. You can download the full report on hotline statistics here.
All of this activity points to this being the time to double down our efforts to end human trafficking once and for all. That’s why tomorrow, February 27, we encourage you to join theEnd It Movement for Shine a Light on Slavery Day. Each person who pledges to become a freedom fighter helps Polaris and all of our fellow coalition partners.
When it comes to ending modern slavery, every voice matters. Today, we urge you to use yours.
Stand up and act,