2021 Charter: National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children & Youth in the United States

Publication Date: January 27, 2021


The National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States (hereinafter referred to as the National Advisory Committee or Committee) is established pursuant to Section 121 of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (Pub. L. 113-183).  The National Advisory Committee is governed by the provisions of Pub. L. 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2).

Objectives and Scope of Activities

The National Advisory Committee advises on practical and general policies concerning improvements in the Nation's response to the sex trafficking of children and youth in the United States, including the cooperation of Federal, state, local, and tribal governments; child welfare agencies; social service providers; physical health and mental health providers; victim service providers; Federal, state, and local police; juvenile detention centers; state or local courts with responsibility for conducting or supervising proceedings related to child welfare or social services for children and their families; runaway and homeless youth programs; schools; gaming and entertainment industry; and, businesses and organizations that provide services to youth.

Description of Duties

The National Advisory Committee shall:

  • Advise on the development and implementation of successful interventions with children and youth who are exposed to conditions that make them vulnerable to, or victims of, sex trafficking;
  • Make recommendations for administrative or legislative changes necessary to use programs, properties, or other resources owned, operated, or funded by the Federal Government to provide safe housing for children and youth who are sex trafficking victims, and provide support to entities that provide housing or other assistance to victims;
  • Develop two tiers of best practices and recommendations for states, including sample training materials, protocols, and screening tools to prepare individuals who administer social services to identify and serve children and youth who are sex trafficking victims or at-risk of sex trafficking; multidisciplinary strategies to identify victims, manage cases, and improve services for all children and youth who are at risk of sex trafficking, or are sex trafficking victims, in the U.S.; sample protocols and recommendations that provide for cross-system collaborations; criteria and guidelines for establishing safe residential placements for foster children who have been sex trafficked as well as victims of trafficking identified through interactions with law enforcement; and training guidelines for caregivers that serve children and youth being cared for outside the home; and
  • Share best practices and recommendations with state Governors and child welfare agencies, notifying states 6 months in advance that the Committee will be evaluating the extent to which states adopt the Committee’s recommendations.

Cross-system collaboration protocols and recommendations shall include strategies to identify victims; strategies to collect, document, and share data across systems and agencies; strategies to help agencies better understand the type of sex trafficking involved, the scope of the problem, and the needs of the population served; strategies to address the demand for trafficked children and youth; strategies to increase prosecutions of traffickers and purchasers of children and youth; and information on the degree of victim interaction with multiple systems.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The National Advisory Committee shall provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General of the United States.  The Committee shall prepare and submit an interim report to the Secretary, Attorney General, and Congress within 3 years after the establishment of the Committee and a final report within 4 years after the establishment of the Committee.


Management and support services shall be provided by the HHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years

Estimated annual cost for operating the committee, including travel expenses for members, but excluding staff support, is $49,683.70.  Estimate of annual person-years of staff support required is 0.52 at an estimated annual cost of $79,607.73.  Therefore, the total for operating the committee and staff support is an estimated $129,291.43.

Designated Federal Officer

The Director of the Office of Trafficking in Persons within ACF shall serve as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO).  The DFO will attend each Committee and subcommittee meeting and ensure that all procedures are within applicable statutory, regulatory, and HHS General Administration Manual Directives.  The DFO will approve all meeting agendas, in consultation with the Committee Chairperson, call all of the Committee and subcommittee meetings to order, adjourn all meetings when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings, as delegated by the Secretary.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

Meetings shall be held at a minimum of twice per year, at the call of the Secretary, in consultation with the Committee Chairperson.  Meetings shall be open to the public except as determined by the Secretary, HHS, or other official to whom the authority has been delegated in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 522b(c)) and Section l0(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act:  notice of all meetings shall be given to the public.


The National Advisory Committee is authorized for a period of 5 years from the date of establishment (Pub. L. 113-183).


The National Advisory Committee shall terminate 5 years after the date of its establishment.  Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the charter for the National Advisory Committee will expire 2 years from the date it is filed.

Membership and Designation

The National Advisory Committee will be composed of not more than 21 members, including the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, whose diverse experience and background enable them to provide balanced points of view with regard to carrying out the duties of the Committee.  The members and Chairperson shall be selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Attorney General.  

At least one Committee member shall be a former sex trafficking victim and two Committee members shall be a Governor of a state, one of whom shall be a member of the Democratic Party and one of whom shall be a member of the Republican Party.  The members will be selected from among advocacy and victim service organizations, survivors of human trafficking (survivors of child trafficking at least 18 years of age), child welfare representatives, state, tribal and local government human services officials, health and mental health representatives, law enforcement, juvenile and youth development specialists, educators, the entertainment and gaming industries, and the business community.  The Democratic and Republican Governors shall be selected in consultation with the National Governor's Association.

These individuals will be appointed as representative members.  There will be no special or regular government employees serving as Committee members.  The Secretary shall appoint one of the members to serve as the Chairperson and another member to serve as the Vice Chairperson.  Members will be appointed to serve for the 5-year life of the Committee.  If any member is absent for more than two meetings without proper communication with the DFO and is determined to be neglecting their duties, the DFO can recommend to the Secretary that their membership be terminated.  Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which a member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term.  A vacancy in the Committee shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made with the replacement Committee member being secured from a list of alternates identified during the initial selection process.


Subcommittees may be established with the approval of the DFO.  Subcommittees will be composed of members of the parent committee.  Subcommittees shall report back to, and make recommendations to be deliberated by, the parent committee, and must not provide advice or work products directly to the agency.  The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon establishment of each Subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


The records of the Committee, established subcommittees, or other subgroups shall be managed in accordance with the General Records Schedule 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records, or other approved agency records disposition schedule.  These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.


Approved: January 15, 2021 by Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services