Tell Congress to Fund Crucial Programs to End Human Trafficking
Last year, over 5000 of you wrote to Congress asking them to fund crucial services for human trafficking survivors, and they listened -- to the tune of $12.5 million. Now, we need your help again to secure critical funding for programs to help victims of human trafficking, get traffickers off the streets, and prevent more and more men, women, and children around the world from becoming modern-day slaves. You can send a letter to the House State, Foreign Operations, Subcommittee and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee, and tell them ending modern-day slavery is a priority!
In December of 2008, Congress authorized tens of millions of dollars to fund services for human trafficking victims and to get traffickers off the streets. However, none of this money can be used to help end human trafficking until Congress passes legislation to appropriate the needed funds. The money Congress has authorized for human trafficking is part of a huge spending bill, which includes funding requests for many different programs and projects. With a limited budget and so many competing projects seeking funding, it is critical that you tell federal legislators about the urgent need for funds for human trafficking survivors. You've made a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims once before. Please, do it again.
As an individual committed to ending human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world, I thank you for your leadership in the fight to end child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and slavery, and appreciate your efforts to pass legislation to curtail these practices. I am writing to seek your assistance in funding several authorized programs related to child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and slavery in the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriation bill.
Congress unanimously reauthorized the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) through FY 2012 (P.L.110‐457). This bi‐partisan reauthorization extended and modified certain programs that form the core of the Department of Labor’s efforts to better document and deter the trafficking problem and the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to provide services to victims of trafficking, most especially children.
I strongly support the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking's (ATEST) 2011 budget requests for these programs, including the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB,)and I also support ATEST recommendations for robust funding for DOL and HHS programs to fulfill the highest priority mandates of the TVPRA. With your leadership, DOL and HHS can begin to substantially document the trafficking problem and deter future trafficking, as well as provide significant services to assist trafficking victims. Therefore, we request programmatic funding and report language as follows:
DOL/International Labor Affairs Bureau/Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor
and Human Trafficking
"The Committee recommends $7,000,000 for the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking to implement sections Sec. 105(b)(2)(A), Sec.105(b)(2)(D), Sec. 105(b)(2)(E) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (P.L.109164) regarding monitoring, standards, and consultations."
I am requesting $7,000,000 in FY11 for the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) in the International Labor Affairs Bureau in the Department of Labor to implement Sec. 105(b)(2) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 (P.L.109-164) and Sec. 110 of the TVPRA of 2008 (P.L.110-457).
OCFT has been involved in monitoring, reporting on and consulting with other government agencies regarding child labor since 1993, and forced labor since 1999, the longest of any government agency. As such OCFT represents a center of expertise and information for the range of government agencies that address forced and child labor issues.
HHS/Administration for Children and Families/Refugee and Entrant
Assistance “Within the funds provided under this heading, the Committee recommends $21,800,000 for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to implement the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L.110457), as follows: $11,800,000 to serve foreign national victims; $4,000,000 to provide shelters for minor victims of sex trafficking; and $6,000,000 to provide grants to nongovernmental organizations working in communities around the country providing case management programs for US citizens and legal permanent resident victims of severe forms of trafficking.”
In addition to the funds for the Department of Labor, the funds I am requesting for the Department of Health and Human Services to make significant strides toward serving the victims of trafficking and fulfilling the mandate of three distinct sections of the TVPRA: to identify and serve foreign national victims (Sec. 301(2)); to provide shelters for minor victims of sex trafficking (Sec. 302(4)); and to create specialized case management programs to assist US citizens (Sec.213).
Assistance to Foreign National Victims: Funding for these programs has been level for the last five years and is currently insufficient to meet victims’ needs. Although the US government estimates that up to 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the US each year, HHS and its grantees have only had the resources to identify and certify an average of 170 victims per year. Furthermore, HHS service periods for some clients are only as long as four months. This short service period challenges a survivor’s ability to recover and to participate in criminal prosecutions, which can often last as long as two years.
Assistance to Minors: Minor victims of trafficking face a major hurdle to recovery – the lack of appropriate and safe housing. Law enforcement around the country has identified the lack of specialized housing programs as the greatest obstacle in bringing effective prosecutions against child sex traffickers. Anecdotal data from selected cities illustrates the need for these funds. For example, in Las Vegas, outreach workers identified over 400 trafficked children on the streets in May 2007 alone. In Dallas, during a three‐year period from 2004‐2007, the Dallas Police Department identified approximately 280 child victims of sex trafficking by screening children who were at high risk due to past abuse and histories of running away from home. Furthermore, the Senate Appropriations Committee called on the Administration to request funding for assistance to minors in its report accompanying the FY10 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (Senate Report 111‐066).
Assistance to US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents: Many US Citizens and lawful permanent residents who are victims of trafficking need specialized services. In particular, survivors who have been long‐term victims of abuse and trauma, often since childhood, are in need of comprehensive case management services in order access specific recovery programs for which they may be eligible. Similar to the assistance provided for foreign national victims, recovery programs for US citizens include medical and psychological treatment, housing, access to educational programs, life skills development, and other assistance through HHS-funded NGO programs. These funds may also support public awareness, training and coalition building to raise awareness about human trafficking among law enforcement, social services, medical staff and other potential first responders, and other faith‐based and community groups. Furthermore, the Senate Appropriations Committee called on the Administration to request funding for assistance to US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents in its report accompanying the FY10 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (Senate Report 111‐066).
Also, I am requesting the following funds for the State Department Office fo Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
- 6,800,000 for administration costs at the Office of GTIP, to continue to expand its remarkable capacity. This is equal to the budget request, and an $800,000 increase over the FY10 appropriation.
- $25,000,000 for the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) office to award grants to non‐governmental and governmental organizations to fight human trafficking internationally through preventative workshops, training workshops for law enforcement, and legal and strategic support. This request is a $3,800,000 increase over the FY10 appropriation and a $4,600,000 increase over the budget request. We
support the Administration's proposal to combine Economic Support Fund and INCLE Trafficking in Persons grants into one program under INCLE.
- Report language in U.S. AID to ensure foreign assistance does not
inadvertently promote human trafficking and slavery. We request the
following report language:
The Committee urges the Secretary and the Administrator of USAID to
continue efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery in all aspects
of U.S. foreign policy particularly in the furnishing of foreign assistance.
The Committee believes the Secretary and the Administrator should put
in place systems to ensure that all assistance has a positive contribution
towards reducing trafficking and that no funds are used in any
way, wittingly or unwittingly, that would increase vulnerability to or
prevalence of trafficking and slavery in contradiction of U.S. policy.
As a champion of the victims of child labor and forced labor, you understand the complexities of these issues and the resources needed to respond to these problems. Thank you for your consideration of these requests and your continued leadership in fighting to end child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and slavery.
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