In an historic decision on February 12, the anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday, the U.S. Senate finally passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)—extending critical protection to millions of men, women and children trapped in slavery around the world. After the TVPRA failed to pass last session, this session Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)worked diligently across party lines to uphold this important piece of our nation’s anti-slavery history.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is the landmark U.S. law designed to combat trafficking both at home and abroad. First passed in 2000, the TVPA provided a framework to protect victims, prosecute traffickers and help prevent this crime before it occurs. The TVPA needs to be reauthorized every few years, and has passed unanimously three times since 2000. The last reauthorization ran out in September 2011 as partisan politics prevailed and Congress failed to act.
Now is the time to thank those Senators who voted Yea and to follow up with those who voted Nay.
Let us hope that the House follows suit in passing the TVPRA and in helping to end slavery once and for all.