President Obama put his signature Thursday onto the cornerstone legislation that guides the federal government’s anti-slavery activities.
Reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was included in the renewed Violence Against Women Act. The combined bill passed Congress with bipartisan support in February. The bill signing was attended by hundreds of activists, government officials and tribal leaders.
“Today is about young women like Tye, who was brought into the sex trade by a neighbor when she was 12 years old,” the president said in remarks prepared for the bill signing. “
“Tye was rescued with the help of an organization led by trafficking survivors. Today, she’s enrolled in college. She’s working full-time to help at-risk girls stay out of the sex trade. Couldn’t be prouder of her. So proud of her,” Obama said. “So with this bill, we reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to help more girls turn out like Tye. That’s what today is all about.”
The president’s signature on the TVPA ends a multiyear struggle to win reauthorization for the law. It is now in force until 2017, according to the White House. But it’s important to note that a blueprint for action is not a budget. The anti-slavery movement will need to mobilize again when it comes time for federal appropriations.
Please stay tuned. We will likely need you to call, tweet, Facebook and e-mail your Congressional representatives again. Your involvement has made this happen. Thanks for your support.
And thanks to Marina Colby of ECPAT USA for sharing her personal photo of the bill signing!