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Top News Hope for Justice convenes second Anti-Trafficking In Persons Policy Leader Roundtable

Hope for Justice convenes second Anti-Trafficking In Persons Policy Leader Roundtable

Hope for Justice was honored to convene and sponsor a second roundtable event in the U.S. Senate yesterday (Wednesday February 1st) for anti-trafficking stakeholders who want to stop human trafficking at the policy level. This second event built on the positive outcomes of the Anti-Trafficking In Persons (ATIP) Policy Leader Roundtable on Capitol Hill in September 2022.

The roundtable was attended by representatives from 11 Congressional offices both parties, plus a number of leaders in this space, survivors of human trafficking, and 27 non-governmental organizations. Discussion included recent victories including the passage of the domestic portion of the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and the confirmation of the new Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (the TIP Ambassador), Cindy Dyer, after nearly two years without permanent leadership in this position. Attention then turned to the future and upcoming policy, legislation and reauthorizations.

Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee gave remarks about these upcoming human trafficking legislative efforts, and the roundtable was also attended by former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Amb. John Cotton Richmond (ret.); Hon. Tanya Gould, Virginia Anti Human Trafficking Director and 2021 Presidential Medal of Honor Recipient for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking; and Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of the Campaign for Uyghurs, which was jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year alongside the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Rachel Hartley, from Hope for Justice’s business and supply chains focused social enterprise, Slave-Free Alliance, also attended and spoke at the roundtable. She said afterwards: “It was incredible to be in an energetic room full of so many people all sharing a common goal. There’s so many exciting policy and program developments that aim to directly impact survivors and provide the right support structures through trauma-informed care. In support of Slave-Free Alliance’s work, I was pleased to hear so many comments from members of Congress on the importance of addressing forced labour in supply chains and the need for legalisation to support action in this space.”

Vanessa Russell, Founder and Executive Director at Love Never Fails, posted after the event: “Participants highlighted importance of reauthorizing International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Sara’s law, Earn It Act, Reauth[orization] of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and to create programs and policy to address growing online trafficking (increase of 3.7 million cases between 2021 and 2022). We also discussed multiple bodies of research that will provide insight on survivor experience and school based recruiting.”

Anne Basham, who helped to facilitate the event on behalf of Hope for Justice, said: “It was humbling to see so many amazing people in one space all so engaged and inspired.”

The NGOs in attendance:

  • Hope for Justice
  • National Center on Sexual Exploitation
  • Thistle Farms
  • A21
  • Rights for Girls
  • Paving the Way Foundation
  • National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance
  • McCain Institute
  • 3Strands Global
  • Polaris
  • My Life, My Choice
  • IJM
  • Lynn’s Warriors
  • No Trafficking Zone
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Humanity United
  • Shared Hope
  • Campaign for Uyghurs
  • Street Grace
  • Atlas Free
  • The Women’s Club of Bethesda
  • Freedom Network
  • Covenant House
  • Love Never Fails
  • The Foundation United
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