Menendez, Risch, Kaine, Rubio Introduce International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined today by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing the International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022, comprehensive legislation to reauthorize and enhance critical programming, policy, and funding essential to the United States’ efforts to combat human trafficking around the world.
Building off of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, the senators’ new legislation proposes reforms to expand U.S. efforts relating to combating human trafficking, including forced labor, as well as new requirements for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to integrate prevention efforts into the agency’s global programming. Among other provisions, the bipartisan bill also amends the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act with the aim of ensuring that the commitment and progress of countries toward implementing effective counter-trafficking measures are factors when determining recipients of U.S. development assistance.
“Despite our great strides in recent years, human trafficking remains a horrific reality for countless millions of people around the world. Today, as millions of Ukrainian women and children fleeing Putin’s brutal invasion are among those at the greatest risk of being trafficked, we are reminded that traffickers seize any opportunity to exploit people in desperate circumstances, particularly victims of war and conflict,” said Chairman Menendez. “This legislation will strengthen the United States’ ability to prevent and fight human trafficking in all its forms including by expanding prevention efforts at the USAID and increasing the tools available to hold governments to account if they do not take steps to combat human trafficking. I welcome the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and look forward to working with them to secure swift passage of this legislation so we can ensure renewed U.S. leadership to combat the scourge of human trafficking in every corner of the world.”
“Human trafficking is a despicable crime that plagues the most vulnerable around the world. This reauthorization provides the State Department, through the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, important tools to continue to investigate and prosecute traffickers, help prevent further trafficking, and protect victims,” said Ranking Member Risch. “This legislation also includes important reforms that will increase oversight over U.S. anti-trafficking programs. I am proud of the leadership the United States has shown with our efforts to combat and eliminate human trafficking globally.”
“Human traffickers victimize millions of people each day. We should make every possible effort to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad,” said Senator Kaine. “This legislation is necessary to ensure the U.S. has the resources to combat human trafficking, including prosecuting traffickers, improving prevention efforts, and ensuring support for survivors.”
“Human trafficking is an urgent global crisis that has caused horrific suffering for millions worldwide,” Senator Rubio said. “This bill will provide the tools to better combat the scourge of human trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable so that women and men around the world can live safely and freely.”