Safe House Project and 500 Survivors and Advocates Implore Passing of Human Trafficking Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C March 18, 2022-- A coalition of more than 500 anti-trafficking

organizations, corporations, advocates, and survivor leaders organized by Safe House

Project delivered a letter to members of the House and Senate today urging them to pass

the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act

(TVPRA). Co-sponsored by Representatives Smith (R-NJ) and Bass (D-CA), passage of this bill will authorize approximately $1 billion over five years to strengthen both the domestic and international response to the second largest criminal enterprise in the world – human

trafficking.


This bill will reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) - the landmark

legislation first authored by Representative Chris Smith (NJ) in 2000. Smith says the new

legislation is “both comprehensive and bipartisan. It also prioritizes prevention of child

trafficking and empowerment of survivors in addition to reauthorizing and enhancing

programs established by the historic Trafficking Victims Protection Act to combat

modern-day slavery.”


Representative Bass says, “although global in reach, the new legislation highlights the

gravity of trafficking in the United States, which is particularly acute for children and youth

in the child welfare system. The new legislation works to correct misconceptions around

sex trafficking by ensuring broader awareness through enhanced practices and

trauma-informed approaches for authorities and educators, expanding key social

infrastructure to support victims – especially housing because girls have a difficult time

leaving their exploiters when they have no alternative living options - and providing quicker

responses to protect the most vulnerable."


“The TVPA, which requires reauthorization every 5 years, expired September 30, 2021. The

TVPRA coalition of anti-trafficking organizations and survivor leaders is urgently calling on

Congress to pass this bill. It is essential to continue the work done around the world to

prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers,” said Kristi Wells, Chief

Executive Officer of Safe House Project, the convening agency for the coalition. “There are

hundreds of NGOs and state agencies combating this evil every day with the help of

Government financial support. If that funding is not maintained, the critical work that is

done to combat trafficking stands to become immobilized.”


Bill Woolf, former Director of Human Trafficking Programs for the U.S. Department of

Justice noted, “This bill is critical in supporting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking both

domestically and abroad. The United States has been a true champion protecting the

rights and freedoms of those targeted by traffickers. Passage of the Frederick Douglass

Victims Prevention and Protection Act will ensure that survivors are afforded the

restorative care that they deserve, while giving frontline professionals the tools they need

to prevent human trafficking and prosecute offenders.”


The letter of support has been signed by national and local anti-trafficking organizations,

state agencies, corporations, survivor leaders and political leaders, who understand the

importance of this bill to continue necessary anti-trafficking initiatives. With $1 billion of

federal funding over the next 5 years in jeopardy, the coalition seeks to see this bill passed

to continue currently enacted programs at the Department of Health and Human Services,

Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State to

combat human trafficking and support victims.


About Us:

Established in 2017, Safe House Project's mission is to increase survivor identification beyond one percent through education, provide emergency services and placement to survivors, and ensure every survivor has access to safe housing and holistic care by accelerating safe house capacity and development across America. Learn more about Safe House Project at SafeHouseProject.org.

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