Sen. Renee Unterman Commends Congressional Action on Protecting Human Trafficking Victims

ATLANTA (May 20, 2015)  |  The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (S. 178) on Tuesday, May 19. The federal legislation, which is meant to increase enforcement and provide support services to human trafficking victims, parallels state legislation passed in Georgia during the 2015 legislative session. The U.S. Senate has already passed the legislation, which is now awaiting Presidential approval. State Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) congratulates the successful Congressional effort to protect human trafficking victims across the nation.

“I greatly appreciate the U.S. House and U.S. Senate’s work to safeguard and support human trafficking victims on a national level. I am especially grateful for Sen. Johnny Isakson’s help and advocacy for the final passage of S. 178. This legislation brings together many common state and national goals that are aimed at stopping the sordid practice of human trafficking,” said Sen. Unterman.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 will amend federal criminal code to impose increased and additional fines on those found guilty of trafficking offenses. This revenue will be deposited into the Domestic Trafficking Victims Fund, established through S. 178. In addition, the federal legislation amends both the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005.

The amendments set forth include permitting U.S. citizens and permanent residents to receive benefits and services without obtaining official victim status certification from the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as replacing the pilot program for juvenile residential treatment facilities with a program for three-year renewable block grants. The grants will be administered by the Department of Justice and will focus on developing and improving domestic child human trafficking deterrence programs for law enforcement officials.

More information about The Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act can be found online athttps://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/178.

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For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2015

For Information Contact:

Jennifer Yarber, Director
Jennifer.yarber@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028