WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the President today signed into law legislation he coauthored to strengthen U.S. global leadership in the fight to end human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (TVPRA), which amends and reauthorizes international provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protect Act, will require the State Department to evaluate concrete actions foreign governments are taking to abolish trafficking and ensure that foreign governments do not get passing grades in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report based on trade or other unrelated factors.
“I am thrilled to see this commonsense legislation signed into law to strengthen our international efforts to fight human trafficking. Senator Corker and I authored this bipartisan legislation because we believe it was necessary for the United States to remain a strong, credible leader in the global fight to end human trafficking,” said Menendez. “After years of political manipulation of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, the TVPRA makes clear that Congress, on a unanimous, bipartisan basis, will not allow the report to be politically manipulated ever again. This law will also help address the scourge of human trafficking for labor by banning worker-paid recruitment fees on government contracts, given their strong role in contributing to modern day slavery. Now more than ever, America must continue to lead the world in advocating for justice, freedom, and human rights. While more work remains, this law is a key component of reasserting that leadership.”