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Risch, Menendez, Kaine, Rubio Re-Introduce International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman 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 2023, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and enhance critical programming, policy, and funding essential to the United States’ efforts to combat human trafficking around the world.

Passed by the Senate unanimously in December 2022 and building off of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, the senators’ 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 to integrate prevention efforts into the agency’s global programming. Among other provisions, the bipartisan bill also amends the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act to ensure that nations’ commitment and progress toward implementing effective counter-trafficking measures are factors in determining recipients of U.S. development assistance.

“In order to effectively eliminate human trafficking globally, me must ensure the State Department has the tools necessary to help other countries properly investigate and prosecute traffickers,” said Ranking Member Risch. “I’m proud to reintroduce legislation to reauthorize the TVPRA which, if enacted, will make critical reforms to increase oversight over U.S. anti-trafficking programs and help prevent further trafficking.”

“Human trafficking remains a horrific reality for millions around the world as global conflict, democratic backsliding, and migration crises continue to present desperate circumstances and place already vulnerable communities at even greater risk of exploitation,” said Chairman Menendez. “With today’s introduction, we again demonstrate our commitment to this important cause by seeking to expand U.S. government-backed prevention efforts and bolstering available tools to hold back actors to account. As I welcome support from my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I encourage my House colleagues to similarly commit to ensure renewed U.S. leadership to combat the scourge of human trafficking worldwide.”

“Every day, human traffickers prey on vulnerable people in America and around the world,” said Senator Kaine. “We must do all that we can to address this crisis, including prosecuting traffickers, improving prevention efforts, and ensuring support for survivors. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join this bipartisan effort to allocate the resources needed to take those steps.”

“Human trafficking remains an urgent global crisis that has led to horrific suffering and human rights violations for millions of people worldwide. This bill will provide the tools to better combat this crime and hold perpetrators accountable,” said Senator Rubio.

Text of the bill can be found here.