Congresswomen Matsui & Noem's Human Trafficking Provision Passes U.S. House

Tuesday, January 27, 2015     

Jonelle Trimmer (Rep. Matsui) 202.225.7163
Brittany Comins (Rep. Noem) 202.225.2801

Congresswomen Matsui & Noem’s Human Trafficking Provision Passes U.S. House

Bipartisan legislation introduced by Congresswomen Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Kristi Noem (R-SD), the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act, was passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The uncomfortable truth is that human trafficking still occurs in communities across the country.  We cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of these survivors,” said Rep. Matsui.  “The legislation passed by the House today works to better prevent and intervene when trafficking or attempted trafficking occurs, while also opening additional resources for survivors who are trying to recover.  Today’s vote sends a strong bipartisan signal to survivors of human trafficking that Congress stands with them in the fight to end trafficking once and for all.”

“Human trafficking is happening in our backyard and we must address it,” said Rep. Noem.  “The legislation passed today targets trafficking from multiple angles.  First, I’m hopeful my bill will give caregivers, state law enforcement officers, and others the tools they need to prevent trafficking in our communities.  And when prevention efforts fail, my hope is that this legislation gives us more information about how to intervene while also diverting critical resources to creating safe places for survivors to escape to.”

The bipartisan Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act (H.R.350) would launch a review to look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities.  This will help us identify best practices to stop human trafficking.  It also requires an inventory of existing federal anti-trafficking efforts to make sure all federal agencies and programs work together and that federal resources are being targeted where needed.  Finally, the legislation improves an existing Department of Justice grant, ensuring that the grant is open to shelters and facilities looking to provide housing for survivors.

This legislation was first introduced in the 113th Congress to help give shelters, law enforcement officers, and caregivers more resources to address the human trafficking crisis.  While the legislation passed the House late last year, the Senate did not take up the legislation.

Matsui and Noem currently serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.