Today marks the 16th anniversary of the singing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Existing legislation proved inadequate in addressing the full scope of trafficking and offered weak prosecution of those committing these severe crimes. This landmark act then became the first law in existence to establish human trafficking as a federal crime and led to the significant allocation of U.S. resources towards strengthening the law in combating modern-day slavery.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act embodies our missions in prevention, protection, and prosecution. Human trafficking is often viewed as occurring in areas on the periphery, but modern-day slavery is an active issue here in the United States. The indiscriminate nature of trafficking allows for anyone to fall victim through coercion and false promise. Creating awareness of these facts is crucial in preventing future trafficking.
The efforts of the Anti-Predator Project in combating involuntary servitude and offering protection to victims has been greatly strengthened with the passage of this momentous act sixteen years ago. The TVPA’s attachment of severe punishment to those who commit these heinous crimes has given our investigative efforts the drive and momentum needed to enact true change. Though strides have been made in aiding victims of trafficking, efforts can still be maximized as long as the process of reexamining our laws remains persistent.