Believe it or not, combating child trafficking and exploitation is something our national leaders have agreed on for decades.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (or TVPA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on 10/28/2000. It was reauthorized and strengthened under Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump and congresses led by both Republicans and Democrats. I serve on the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children & Youth in the United States. The Committee was appointed by President Obama and launched in 2017, under President Trump. Like most of America, Committee members represent diverse experiences and opinions. We don’t always agree. But, I’ve experienced a remarkable commitment to work through differences and towards solutions and I’ve witnessed inspiring collaboration.
Last month, The National Advisory Committee published a major report on best practices and recommendations for how states can effectively combat child sex trafficking. A number of the recommendations are informed by our work at Love146. For example the report recommends that:
- All reports to state child welfare agencies be screened for trafficking indicators.
- All children in state social service systems receive research-based prevention education, like our Not a Number prevention education curriculum.
- All states establish basic standards of care for providers serving survivors, improving the quality of care nationwide.
These are just three of the 127 recommendations and all the recommendations are accompanied by examples and resources that states can access and model.
Thinking about the government can make your head hurt, especially these days. But we are “defiant hope” people at Love146. We always remember at the end of every decision impacted by Federal and State governments, committees, agencies, systems, structures and laws, is a child affected by trafficking. So we will take the headaches and we will wade into the political fray and we will get our hands dirty on behalf of each of those children.