Noem’s Human Trafficking Provisions Pass Key House Panel
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem’s Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act was passed today by the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation is expected to be considered by the full House as early as next week.
“We have to do everything we can to protect young people from this unconscionable industry. And when prevention efforts fail, we have a responsibility to intervene and help survivors recover,” said Congresswoman Noem. “The provisions that advanced today would give caregivers, state law enforcement officers, and others more tools to end trafficking in our communities. My hope is that we’d also be able to open the door for local shelters to receive the support they need to house survivors, because recovering victims must have a safe place to go.”
The bipartisan Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act (H.R.350) would launch a review to look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities. This will help us identify best practices to stop human trafficking. It also requires an inventory of existing federal anti-trafficking efforts to make sure all federal agencies and programs work together and that federal resources are being targeted where needed. Finally, the legislation improves existing Department of Justice grants, ensuring that the grants also support shelters for survivors.
“Every day, here in the United States, thousands of victims are shuttled from place to place for the purpose of becoming sex slaves in a black market that feeds on the misery of others. We cannot allow this to continue,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “In order to effectively attack this problem, it is first necessary to fully understand it. This legislation requires the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, in consultation with nongovernmental organizations, to identify best practices and any possible gaps that might exist in research and data. The bill also directs the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on the effectiveness of the various federal grants aimed at stopping this crime. Finally, H.R. 350 helps to provide young victims of sex trafficking a safe and secure path forward by ensuring that existing federal grants can be used for housing services. I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation.”
This legislation was first introduced by Rep. Noem in the 113th Congress to help give shelters, law enforcement officers, and caregivers more resources to address the human trafficking crisis. While the legislation passed the House late last year, the Senate failed to consider the legislation. Rep. Noem reintroduced the legislation at the beginning of this Congress with California Democrat Rep. Doris Matsui.