Bullock Urges Federal Support for Programs to Combat Human Trafficking
Attorney General Steve Bullock today joined 45 other state and territorial attorneys general in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging them to adequately fund programs to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, generating over $32 billion in profits to traffickers annually, according to some estimates.
Congress must reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) by the end of this year or it will expire. The Act was reauthorized in December 2008 and has been renewed three times since then.
“I remember something an officer with a vice and child exploitation unit in the U.S. said, about how people who deal drugs have a finite amount of their product to sell, but traffickers see girls as ‘reusable’,” Bullock said. “These federal programs are essential to our efforts to free and protect these children from lives we can barely imagine.”
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter, signed by 46 state and territorial attorneys general, offers specific funding recommendations for programs within the U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to curtail the human trafficking industry and provide the resources necessary to rehabilitate survivors, both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.
“We understand the tremendous fiscal challenges the nation faces. However, during this time, we cannot lose sight of the needless human tragedies that are occurring within and beyond our borders,” the NAAG letter states.
NAAG has made anti-human trafficking efforts one of its major initiatives starting with a 2011-2012 Pillars of Hope initiative and continuing with a NAAG Human Trafficking Committee.