Phoenix, AZ (Tuesday, December 17, 2013) — Attorney General Tom Horne, along with other state and territorial attorneys general, sent a letter asking Congress to fund the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This funding would go towards programs that fight human trafficking in the United States and abroad. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world, generating about $32 billion each year.
“Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery and this issue continues to be a high priority for my Office,” said Attorney General Tom Horne. “Over the past two legislative sessions we have aggressively pushed legislation to toughen penalties on this illicit practice and this year will be no different. I’ll continue my fight to protect the young people who fall victim to these kinds of predators.”
Established in 2000, the TVPRA greatly increased America’s efforts to protect human trafficking victims, assist survivors, improve prevention methods and successfully prosecute human traffickers. The original legislation established human trafficking as a federal crime.
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or other areas of the sex industry. Trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.
According to a study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States were U.S. citizens. The average age that U.S. citizens are first used for commercial sex is 12–14.
A copy of the letter is attached.