The Current

Advocacy News + Updates

After 2 ½ years of hard work and prayer, the IJM Advocacy team is excited to announce that the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) just passed the House of Representatives 286 to 138! Now it’s headed to the President—and we are confident he will sign it into law very soon.

Let me first thank each of you for the hours you’ve put into meetings, calls, events, collecting postcards, and praying to pass this bill. We could not have done it without your help, and we are delighted to share this victory with our friends across the globe.

As you may remember from a couple weeks ago, the TVPRA passed the Senate as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act with broad bipartisan support (93 to 5). Today, the House of Representatives passed that same version of VAWA, including the bipartisan TVPRA.

Getting the TVPRA to pass in Congress was no easy feat—IJM and our partners have been working for 2 ½ years to get to this point. The TVPRA must be reauthorized ever few years, but after it expired in 2011, it was more difficult than ever to get this important bill back on Congress’ agenda. Your voices helped show Congress that trafficking matters to Americans, and they took action!

This 2013 version of the TVPRA has some exciting new provisions as well:

  • The Child Protection Compact Act, which we worked to pass for four years, will give the State Department authority to partner with overseas governments to stop child trafficking in targeted areas. It’s much more specific and measurable than previous programs—and it’s largely based off of the success of IJM’s casework in Cebu, the Philippines.
  • An emergency response provision helps the State Department quickly deploy teams of experts into crisis areas—like the situation in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake—where disorder and poverty can leave children or other vulnerable poor especially susceptible to trafficking.
  • New tools to help prosecute traffickers and people who exploit the poor
  • Continued support for existing programs that support survivors of trafficking both in the U.S. and overseas

Overall, today’s passage of the TVPRA will be a huge win in this fight to protect the poor from slavery and trafficking. We are so grateful to Congress for putting aside partisan politics and reasserting our position as a global leader in this fight. Foreign governments will notice, and more importantly, so will those in need of rescue.

Read about the Senate's vote on TVPRA two weeks ago.

Annick Febrey is the Legislative Affairs Manager for International Justice Mission.