Everyone agrees that human trafficking, a modern day slavery, must end, unless you are one of the pimps profiting from the business. But they disagree with the method of how to go about fighting against human trafficking in times. Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2009″ via bill S2959 is one example that experts disagree in its approach to fight against human trafficking. The experts argue that the bill needs further revision before the implementation. The bill was initially introduced by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon to establish a grant program to benefit victims of sex trafficking. However, a legal expert on national legislation argues that the current draft of the bill will not guarantee enough funding sources for most nonprofits or grass-roots groups who are encountering the victims on a daily basis in the U.S.
What is S2925?
According to the experts, the bill, if implemented, will authorize 6 block grants to the eligible entities in the amount of $2500,000 per year for a period of up to three years. However, the experts say that the “eligible entities” are states or local government units, rather than nonprofit groups. Also, According to the current draft of the bill, only $625,000 out of 2500,000 ( 25% of each award) will go toward the provision of shelter and services to victims of sex trafficking, and 250,000 per year ( or 10% of each award will go to an organization with an annual budget of $750,000 or less, to provide services to victims or training.
What does that mean?
The experts describe what the current bill will likely result without further revision: Suppose 3 states and 3 cities are eligible for the grants. And Florida is one of them. Also suppose there are 100 active anti-human trafficking groups that are proactively out on the streets, rescuing and rehabilitating victims’ lives every day and night in Florida. They all have to provide food, shelters, counseling programs, medical services, and others for the victims on the top of paying for their electricities, salaries for their employees, and rent to run their organizations. And the high influx of trafficking victims in the city necessitate all 100 organizations to be actively involved on a daily basis in rescuing victims. But, according to the bill, only one out of those 100 proactive organizations will be eligible for the grants. Experts further commented that the award is unrelated to the performance measured by the number of victims rescued by an organization. In other words, regardless of how good of job an organization performs in rescuing and rehabilitating victims, it is likely to be ineligible for the grant without a luck.
What they recommend
The experts therefore advocate for amendment of the current draft of the bill so that more fraction of the grant will be available to the nonprofit groups who are actually out on the streets and rescuing victims on daily basis. Therefore, the experts requested the American public to withhold the support for the bill until it is revised.
Government entities, particularly, law enforcement and juvenile facilities for child trafficking victims, certainly need more funding support to fight against human trafficking. However, past scenarios show that the government entities alone cannot fight human trafficking. Child trafficking in Georgia is a classic example of showing the vitality of more support for nonprofit organizations. Many people believe that bigger government will solve the problem like this because they perceive the problem as a matter of a crime. But, the advocates and experts all agree that the issue is much more complex than cracking down the traffickers and prostitutes. Suppose the bigger funding for the government entities enable them to crack down on the organized criminals running human trafficking rings. But, the cracking down on the criminals is not the end of the problems. Unless the lives of the victims are rehabilitated by the nonprofits, the victims helplessly go back to the sex industry, where they later become exploiters of younger women without even knowing it.
**You can support or oppose the bill by visiting open congress website.