Almost 20 years later: Human Trafficking Survivors Need More Than a Patchwork of Benefits

By USCRI June 3, 2019

Almost twenty years ago, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), a trifecta of measures intended to address the rise in human trafficking—prevention, protection and prosecution.

1. The protection measures of the law were written to provide victims with services needed to rebuild their lives. For adult foreign national victims of trafficking, the law allows them, once certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to be eligible for the same benefits accorded to refugees. It appears, however, that after nearly twenty years, the victim assistance provisions of the law have failed in their execution. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, HHS issued 412 certification letters to adult foreign national victims of trafficking.

2. Based on that number, one might think we’ve almost eradicated human trafficking in the United States. We haven’t. And although Congress has attempted with three reauthorizations to correct the problems with the assistance provisions of the original TVPA, the resulting patchwork of benefits falls short of what trafficking survivors need to rebuild their lives.

Read the full USCRI report Almost 20 years later Trafficking victims need more than a patchwork of benefits


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