H.R. 5135, The Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014

H.R. 5135

The Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014

Committee
Judiciary

Date
July 23, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 5135, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 5135 was introduced on July 17, 2014 by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and was referred to the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5135 directs the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking[1] (“Task Force”) to conduct a review and issue a report on the best strategies for preventing children from becoming victims of trafficking.[2]  Specifically, H.R. 5135 directs the Task Force to conduct a review that: 1) surveys and catalogues Federal and state government activities to deter individuals from committing trafficking offenses and prevent children from becoming victims; 2) surveys academic literature on these and other similar topics; 3) identifies best practices and effective strategies for achieving these goals; and 4) identifies current gaps in research and data that would be helpful in developing effective strategies to achieve these goals.  Within a year of the bill’s enactment, the Task Force must submit to Congress and make publicly available a report on the review.

H.R. 5135 requires the GAO to submit to Congress, within one year of the bill’s enactment, a report on: 1) efforts by Federal and state governments to combat human trafficking in the U.S.; and 2) all Federal grant programs that exist to deter individuals from committing trafficking offenses and prevent children from becoming victims of trafficking.

H.R. 5135 expands existing Department of Justice grants to allow them to go to programs that provide housing to trafficking victims.

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[1] The Task Force “is a cabinet-level entity created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to coordinate federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The PITF meets annually and is chaired by the Secretary of State.”  U.S. Department of State: President’s Interagency Task Force.
[2] The bill gives “victim of trafficking” the same definition given in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Background

Efforts to oppose human trafficking are undertaken by numerous federal and state entities.  The Task Force was authorized by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to assist in facilitating interagency and international cooperation.[3]  A comprehensive review of existing efforts to deter human trafficking, along with an analysis of academic literature and best practices and strategies, will enable the U.S. to implement a more coordinated and effective policy to combat trafficking.

In addition, a large concern from anti-trafficking advocates is the lack of resources and shelters for victims of trafficking.  Reports indicate that there are only 200 beds available in the U.S. for underage victims.[4]  H.R. 5135 addresses the issue by ensuring housing facilities are eligible for DOJ grants for victim services.

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[3] Alison Siskin & Liana Rosen, Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (May 1, 2014) at 10.
[4] Noem Introduces Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act, U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (July 17, 2014).

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.