This bill would direct the Attorney General to study a range of issues related to human trafficking. It’d also express the sense of Congress that human trafficking is a serious problem deserving of both federal funds to address the problem and states’ attention to the issue.
This bill would express the sense of Congress that some funds available for training and technical assistance under section 107(b) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 should be devoted to:
Increasing the personal safety of victim service providers, who may face intimidation or retaliation for their activities;
Promoting a trauma-informed, evidence-based, and victim-centered approach to the provision of services for victims of trafficking;
Ensuring that law enforcement officers and prosecutors make every attempt to determine whether an individual is a victim of human trafficking before arresting the individual for, or charging the individual with, an offense that is a direct result of the victimization of the individual;
Effectively prosecuting traffickers and individuals who patronize or solicit children for sex, and facilitating access for child victims of commercial sex trafficking to the services and protections afforded to other victims of sexual violence;
Encouraging states to improve efforts to identify and meet the needs of human trafficking victims, including through internet outreach and other methods that are responsive to the needs of victims in their communities; and
Ensuring victims of trafficking, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals, are eligible for services.
This bill would also direct the Attorney General (AG), in consultation with other federal entities engaged in efforts to combat human trafficking, to establish an expert working group to: 1) identify barriers to the collection of data on the incidence of sex and labor trafficking and 2) recommend practices to promote better data collection and analysis. The working group’s membership would consist of survivors of human trafficking, experts on sex and labor trafficking, representatives from organizations collecting data on human trafficking, and law enforcement officers. No later than three years after this bill’s enactment, the AG would be required to implement a pilot program testing methodologies recommended by the working group.
The AG, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Homeland Security (DHS), the Director of the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, victims of trafficking, human trafficking survivor advocates, service providers for victims of sex and labor trafficking, and the President’s Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking, would also be required to submit a report to Congress detailing:
- Federal efforts to estimate the prevalence of human trafficking at the national and regional levels;
- The effectiveness of current policies and procedures to address the needs of victims of trafficking; and
- An analysis of demographic characteristics of victims of trafficking in different regions of the United States and recommendations for how to address the unique vulnerabilities of different victims.
Additionally, the AG would be required to coordinate with federal, state, local, and tribal governments to develop and execute a survey of survivors seeking and receiving victim assistance services. This survey would seek to improve the provision of services to human trafficking victims and victim identification in the U.S. The survey’s results would be publicly available on the DOJ’s website.
The AG, in consultation with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, would also be required to submit a report to Congress detailing efforts to increase restitution to victims of human trafficking.
Finally, this bill would express the sense of Congress that states should adopt protections for victims of trafficking.