President Signs the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1312)

On December 21, 2018, the President signed into law the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. This law reauthorizes several grant programs within the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL), and State (DOS) that combat trafficking in persons. This law also contains the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Prevention Act of 2017, which authorizes grant funding to train School Resource Officers to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking and reauthorizes the Creating Hope Through Outreach, Options, Services, and Education for Children and Youth (i.e., CHOOSE Children & Youth) grant program.

This legislation also includes the following authorizations related to HHS:

  • Section 301
    • Reauthorizes Human Trafficking & Smuggling Center through 2021 (HHS contributes to the work of the Center)
    • Reauthorizes HHS authority to appoint child advocates for trafficking victims and vulnerable Unaccompanied Alien Children through 2021
  • Section 303
    • Instructs the Attorney General to consult with the Secretary of HHS to identify recommended practices for screening human trafficking victims and to encourage the use of these practices to grantees receiving a grant to provide services
  • Section 401
    • Institutes some data reporting requirements to improve data collection and interagency coordination including instructing the FBI to submit to Congress a report on the status of the Innocence Lost National Initiative including a number of required data points over the last five fiscal years (including the placement and social services provided to minor victims of human trafficking, which may require some HHS coordination)

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