Tell Congress to Listen to Survivors and Strengthen Their Efforts to End Modern Slavery
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“As a young child here in Kentucky, my nightmare began when I was first auctioned off to a willing buyer and sexually abused. That scenario played out repeatedly in hotel rooms and private homes until I finally escaped at age 18 -- far too late to prevent numerous mental and physical health problems.”– Margeaux Gray
Today, Margeaux Gray is a powerful anti-trafficking advocate, who has testified before U.S. state legislatures and helped drive the enactment of legislation that strengthens victim protections. Human trafficking survivors are in the best position to advise which policies and practices work, and creating a survivor-led platform like the U.S. Advisory Council values survivors beyond their trauma story.
Human trafficking is a complex and serious crime that tears at our social fabric. Efforts to combat this crime must be equally complex – victim-centered, comprehensive, and trauma-informed. Because they were once victims of sex or labor trafficking, modern slavery survivors have the most direct and intimate knowledge of the harm caused by their trafficking situations and should have a say in what it takes to stop the problem.
The U.S. Government does not have an institutionalized structure to listen to trafficking survivors when crafting policies and anti-trafficking initiatives. As awareness of human trafficking grows, we are stepping up to address this atrocity. If Congress would listen to survivors when it comes to policy-making, then laws combatting human trafficking and modern slavery would lead to more effective solutions.
Senator Boxer introduced legislation (S.121) that would enable the federal government to take a victim-centered approach by being meaningfully informed by modern slavery survivors. This legislation is vital to helping our government implement the most effective anti-trafficking policies and programs by establishing the first ever survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Survivor voices must be heard. This platform would value survivors beyond their story and strengthen government-wide plans and solutions to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. Tell Congress to listen to survivors.
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