I just received the following letter from the Polaris Project, which takes action to aid young girls forced into prostitution and sex trafficking (one and the same, really). It asks that we notify legislators on Oct. 5th that we want them to strengthen the protection and child welfare of minors affected by sex trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).
Please pass this along and get as many of your friends and family to become actively involved in this fight for our girls. Here’s the letter:
On October 5, 2011 – less than 24 hours from now – the House will mark up the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2011 (H.R. 2830). Your action is needed to ensure that the 2011 TVPRA is strengthened by including language from the Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R. 2730). If included, this legislation would greatly benefit minor victims of human trafficking, like Amber.
When Amber was 14 years old, a man named Jeremy approached her in the mall. He told her she was beautiful and special and he even offered to buy her new clothes. As a runaway, Amber felt that she could trust this man because he wanted to take care of her. It turned out that Jeremy was not who he was pretending to be, and it wasn’t long before he forced Amber to engage in prostitution. At first she tried to leave, but then things turned violent. Amber was eventually able to escape her situation after connecting with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
If H.R. 2730 is included in the TVPRA victims like Amber will have access to greater specialized care. This legislation will extend specialized care for minor victims of trafficking in the foster care system to age 21 and will also provide child welfare workers with guidance on how to identify, document, educate and counsel children at risk. This legislation will also allow the child welfare system to accurately track child victims of human trafficking.
On behalf of minor victims of human trafficking, like Amber, we ask that you take action before 10 a.m. tomorrow. Please call the offices of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (202-225-3931) and Rep. Chris Smith (202.225.3765) and urge them to include the language of H.R. 2730, Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act into the 2011 TVPRA during the mark up session.
Mary C. Ellison
Director of Policy