Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of Trafficking Legislation

I could not be a stronger supporter of efforts to prevent human trafficking. But we must offer comprehensive solutions that provide meaningful and reliable resources to support these survivors.

Just this Congress, I have led the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act – widely recognized as this country’s most important tool in combatting human trafficking. The law reasserted the United States as a global leader in fighting trafficking by strengthening tools available to prosecutors and providing services for victims, including those victims here at home. 

The Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act also passed this Congress.  That bill expanded the availability of grants to support victims of human trafficking, as well as sexual assault and domestic violence.

And now I am working to enact the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S.2646). This bill authorizes the critical resources needed to provide shelter and services for the 1.6 million youth in this country who are homeless. Many of these young people are, or are at risk of becoming, victims of human trafficking.

It is time we put our money where our mouth is. We must reauthorize these existing programs that work. These children, whether in Vermont, Minnesota, or Texas, need a place to stay and be safe. And I will not leave these priorities behind for political reasons.


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