Klobuchar has been national leader in fight to prevent human trafficking; major bipartisan legislation she sponsored to crack down on human traffickers while bringing justice for victims was signed into law last year

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement on the Minnesota Department of Health receiving a grant of $2.87 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to combat human trafficking:

“Trafficking is now the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. The bipartisan bill we passed last year is a good start, and we’ve seen evidence of that in Minnesota and nationwide, as more perpetrators have been brought to justice. Still, there’s more we can do to crack down on this crime and help victims rebuild their lives,” said Klobuchar.This new grant for Minnesota will help give victims the support they need and deserve.”

Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking. Her bipartisan legislation, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, was signed into law last May. 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. In addition to law enforcement provisions, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act helps victims rebuild their lives by using fines and penalties against perpetrators to improve the availability of victim services. In March, Klobuchar and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Stop Trafficking on Planes (STOP) Act that would require training for certain airline industry employees to recognize and report suspected human trafficking to law enforcement. A provision based on this legislation was signed into law in July as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016.