Last year, over 5000 of you wrote to Congress asking them to fund crucial services for human trafficking survivors, and they listened — to the tune of $12.5 million. Now, we need your help again to secure critical funding for programs to help victims of human trafficking, get traffickers off the streets, and prevent more and more men, women, and children around the world from becoming modern-day slaves. You can send a letter to the House State, Foreign Operations, Subcommittee and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee, and tell them ending modern-day slavery is a priority!
In December of 2008, Congress authorized tens of millions of dollars to fund services for human trafficking victims and to get traffickers off the streets. However, none of this money can be used to help end human trafficking until Congress passes legislation to appropriate the needed funds. The money Congress has authorized for human trafficking is part of a huge spending bill, which includes funding requests for many different programs and projects. With a limited budget and so many competing projects seeking funding, it is critical that you tell federal legislators about the urgent need for funds for human trafficking survivors. You’ve made a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims once before. Please, do it again.
There are two main issues at hand. 1.) Funding programs that form the core of the Department of Labor’s efforts to better document and deter the trafficking problem and the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to provide services to victims of trafficking, most especially children. 2.) Funding the G/TIP Office within the Department of State. G/TIP provides tools to combat trafficking in persons and assists in the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts both worldwide and domestically. The G/TIP Office also funds projects in over 43 countries around the world in an effort to assist governments with a will to change and economic need to improve their response to human trafficking.
Without adequate funding, thousands of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, both minors and adults, will continue to suffer at the hands of human traffickers in forced and coerced commercial sex and labor. But you can help end human trafficking in the U.S. and help human trafficking victims in three easy steps that take less than five minutes.
1. Send a letter to the House of Representatives State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee. They have the power to fund the Trafficking in Persons Office at the State Department, which coordinates all government efforts to eradicate trafficking in the U.S. and around the world.
2. Send a letter to the House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee. They have the power to fund vital services for trafficking victims and fund programs preventing human trafficking.
3. Call your Senator or Representative (you can find their numbers at www.whoismyrepresentative.com) and urge them to support funding to abolish human trafficking and modern day slavery in the current appropriations bill.
The few minutes it takes you to contact Congress and ask them to support funding to abolish human trafficking and modern day slavery could be the difference of a lifetime for a trafficked person.
Photo credit: Nagyman