IJM Welcomes Passage of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2023 in the House of Representatives shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

IJM Welcomes Passage of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act in the House of Representatives

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2024, WASHINGTON, D.C. — International Justice Mission (IJM) welcomes the passage of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 5856) by the House of Representatives. The bill, introduced by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) and Susan Wild (D-PA-7), was backed by tremendous bipartisan support with an overwhelming vote of 414 to 11. If enacted, the bill would help complete the seventh comprehensive reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000.

“The TVPA created a bold, new domestic and international anti-human trafficking strategy and established numerous new programs to protect victims, prosecute traffickers and, to the extent possible, prevent human trafficking in the first place – what we call the three Ps,” said Rep. Smith.

"The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act builds on the decades of efforts to combat human trafficking, modernizing prevention, protection and prosecution tools. This five-year reauthorization of counter-trafficking programs will be critical for U.S. efforts around the globe to eliminate the human trafficking industry," said Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC-6), an original co-sponsor of the bill.

IJM especially commends this reauthorization of the TVPA for increasing vital funding for the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) and for extending the authorization of the Program to End Modern Slavery, which is implemented by the TIP Office. Additionally, IJM supports the bill’s new requirement for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to integrate counter-trafficking strategies into broader foreign assistance programming.

“In 2000, Congress passed the groundbreaking TVPA – the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking,” said Sharon Payt, IJM’s Vice President of U.S. Corporate and Government Partnerships. “In the over two decades since, the anti-trafficking movement has expanded and strengthened with continued, bipartisan leadership from Congress and the U.S. government, including formation of the TIP Office. The ongoing fight to combat the scourge of enslavement continues, thanks in part, because of continued support from Congress.”

“Reauthorizing the TVPA is an important signal to our global neighbors that the U.S. government remains committed to ending human trafficking,” said Nate King, IJM’s Director of Congressional Affairs. “IJM is grateful to Congressman Chris Smith for his persistent dedication to this crucial issue, and we thank all of the bill’s bipartisan co-sponsors for ensuring the U.S. maintains a robust leadership role in international anti-trafficking efforts.”

Portions of the TVPA have been reauthorized in recent years; however, several key components expired in September 2021. This includes authorization for the TIP Office and other vital international policies and programs of the TVPA. A Senate bill for the same purpose, the International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 920), was favorably reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 12, 2023, and now awaits action on the Senate floor. IJM looks forward to supporting the bipartisan, bicameral cooperation that will be essential to ensure the enactment of a reauthorization. We urge bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate to work together to determine a viable legislative path that ensures the reauthorization of the international provisions of the TVPA before the end of 2024.

About IJM
International Justice Mission partners with local authorities in 31 program offices in 16 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children and police abuse of power. IJM’s mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Learn more at: IJM.org.

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