Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, have announced that their bipartisan legislation, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act, has passed the Senate.
The legislation strengthens and reauthorizes key programs that support survivors of human trafficking and provide resources to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials on the front lines of the fight against modern-day slavery, according a release from Klobuchar's office.
"Last Congress, I worked with Sen. Cornyn to get our Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act signed into law. Together we've worked to curb trafficking in Minnesota and around the country, but there's still more to be done," Klobuchar said in the news release. "Today's vote brings us one step closer to strengthening and reauthorizing critical programs that help support survivors and improve the tools available to federal, state, and local law enforcement.
Klobuchar and Cornyn authored the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a 2015 law that increased the resources and tools available for combating human trafficking in the United States. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act ensures that American law enforcement is equipped to fight this crime, while helping victims rebuild their lives by using fines and penalties against their exploiters to fund restorative services and compensation. The legislation was modeled after Minnesota's "Safe Harbor" law, which gives incentives for all states to have a safe harbor provision to help ensure minors who are sold for sex aren't prosecuted as defendants, but are instead treated as victims. When a state passes a safe harbor law, it means that kids sold for sex should be steered towards child protection services, rather than being arrested, charged, or convicted under a state's criminal laws.