WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation yesterday to reauthorize their Abolish Human Trafficking Act, which has strengthened key programs supporting survivors of human trafficking and provided resources to law enforcement officials since becoming law in 2018.
“For the last four years, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act has changed the lives of individuals who have found themselves victims of this heinous crime,” Sen. Cornyn said. “I’m looking forward to reauthorizing this critical legislation so it can continue to help communities eradicate human trafficking on their streets and get survivors the assistance they need to rebuild their lives.”
“As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand the horrors of human trafficking,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will provide prosecutors and law enforcement with the training and tools they need to combat these terrible crimes, while strengthening critical programs that help identify and support survivors and victims.”
The Abolish Human Trafficking Act was signed into law in 2018, and this reauthorization would extend critical programs through 2027 to help combat modern-day slavery. Additionally, it establishes confidentiality protections for victims, prioritizes cybersecurity enforcement, funds prevention research, creates a victim assistance program within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provides funding to states who treat and prevent trafficking within their foster systems, authorizes funding at the Department of Health and Human Services and at DHS, and mandates that the FBI use multidisciplinary teams when interviewing victims of child sexual abuse and trafficking.
This reauthorization also extends the life of the Department of Justice Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund, financed through fines on convicted human traffickers and sexual predators and through an annual allotment from the Community Health Centers Fund. It would reauthorize key Trafficking Victims Protection Act programs that fund restorative services for victims and law enforcement anti-trafficking operations.
This legislation is endorsed by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), Shared Hope International, Rights 4 Girls, Covenant House, Amirah, Human Rights for Kids, the National Children’s Alliance, ECPAT-USA, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the National District Attorneys Association, and Thistle Farms.