Perhaps your call will help save the life of one more sex or labor trafficking victim or help put one more violent exploiter of women and children behind bars. Perhaps that call has the potential for helping thousands of survivors around the world have a better life. Thursday, September 8, 2011 is National Call-in Day to urge your congressmen to vote for the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which expires September 30 of this year.
********National Call-in Day: Thursday, Spetember 8, 2011
What is the TVPRA?
- First passed nationally in 2000 as the TVPA, the law provides protection for foreigners brought to the US to be used in labor trades at low or no pay or used in sex trades against their will.
- Goals include to: Prevent human trafficking overseas, protect victims and help them rebuild their lives in the US, prosecute traffickers with strong Federal penalties
- Methods include: Educational and awareness programs; practical assistance to victims with housing, education, health care, job training; T-visa status for survivors to become temporary US citizens
- The TVPA needs to be reauthorized every three years for the services and protections to continue
Why is the TVPRA needed?
- 27 million people globally, mostly women and children, are held captive to provide labor or sex acts against their will, in inhumane conditions, and for the sole benefit of the perpetrators and accomplices.
- Sex slavery (forced prostitution) accounts for the bulk of the human trafficking activity, which is now the fastest growing underworld criminal activity
- In 2002, the CIA estimated that 50,000 people are brought to the US annually for trafficking activities.
- In 2008, ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) estimated 17,500 illegals are brought in under pretense of jobs and a better future, and then are beaten, raped, and forced into sex for pay or menial jobs.
- Drug cartels are capitalizing on the ongoing revenues generated by sex trafficking in which the same girl can be sold a dozen times each night with far less risk than selling drugs.
- Gangs such as MS-13 abduct or deceive women from Latin American countries and bring them to the US to be prostituted
- The bill’s reauthorization will continue the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and the Trafficking in Persons annual report card of international compliance with goals to earadiate human slavery.
- Funding is provided on the national level for protection services to survivors, law enforcement and prosecution of perpetrators and assistance to the oppressed for rebuilding their lives.
The TVPRA of 2011 includes added provisions to strengthen existing laws and enforcement. There is a Senate version (S. 1301) and a House version (HR 2830), both of which were introduced in late summer. If both bodies pass their respective bills, a conference committee will work out the variations. Some of the new amendments include:
- Child protection compacts can be made with focus countries to increase resources for fighting child slavery
- The TIP office will have greater resources for addressing technical needs internationally
- Anti-trafficking specialists will be designated in US embassies to collect data and be liaison with government officials
- Emergency response procedures will be established for natural disaster areas such as the Haitian eathquake, in which large numbers of children and women are at risk for exploitation
- Proscution for Americans living or visiting abroad and involved in sex tourism will be more strongly enforced
- Greater protections for foreign workers recruited by American employers will be in effect.
What you can do: TVPRA of 2011–S. 1301/HR 2830
- Send an instant letter by email at no charge to your congressmen through the International Justice Mission (IJM).
- See if your elected policy-makers demonstrated a commitment to slavery abolition by co-sponsoring the TVPRA: House | Senate and urge them to do so (The House has 2 sponsors, the Senate has 10)
- Contact your Senators and Representative today online and ask them to co-sponsor the bills and help generate votes
- Commit to calling your Senators on September 8 to ask them to co-sponsor the TVPRA.
- Spread the word with this article or dozens of others on Facebook and Twitter
- Connect with your state’s chapter of International Justice Mission for more information and resources
- Donate to or volunteer with an agency that is fighting the battle to free slaves, give aid to victims, and prosecute the oppressors
- Contact the national hotlines if you suspect sex or labor trafficking: For sex slavery: contact The National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1.888.3737.888.
- Learn more about human trafficking at the Health and Human Services website.
Each person can make a difference by being informed of the issues and taking a stand. IJM is only looking for 3000 people to call on the TVPRA. What if 3000 people each got 10 friends to call in as well? You can be a modern day abolitionist.
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(c) 2011 Holly Craw. All rights reserved. You may link to this article or take an excerpt with due attribution to the author and a link back to this original article. Mention your link below to get a shoutout.