Noem, Matsui Introduce Bipartisan Human Trafficking Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Congresswomen Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Doris O. Matsui (D-CA) today led more than 50 Members of Congress in introducing the bipartisan Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act. This legislation works to better prevent and intervene when trafficking or attempted trafficking occurs, while also opening additional resources for survivors who are trying to recover.
“The uncomfortable truth is that human trafficking still occurs in communities across the country. We cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of these survivors,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “I am pleased to join with my colleague, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, in introducing legislation to help ensure federal resources are being used in the most effective manner possible to help these young men and women. We must shine a public spotlight on this most egregious of human rights violations and this bill is an important step in that direction.”
“If we are going to give young people a way out of trafficking, they need a place to stay at night. They need a safe place to go,” said Congresswoman Noem. “Our bill opens the door for local shelters to receive the support they need to house survivors and get these young people back on the path to recovery.”
The Human Trafficking, Prevention, Intervention and Recovery Act was first introduced in 2014. The legislation takes a three-pronged approach in combating human trafficking:
- Improves existing Department of Justice grants, allowing the grants to also support shelters for survivors. Currently, there are just 200 beds available in the United States for underage victims.
- Launches a review by the Interagency Task-Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking that will look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities. The review will be done in consultation with nongovernmental organizations and will work to identify and develop best practices to prevent trafficking.
- Requires an inventory of existing federal anti-trafficking efforts by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office to make sure all federal agencies and programs work together and that federal resources are being targeted where needed.
Noem and Matsui currently serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.