Acting attorney general joins others in urging congress to fund anti-human trafficking programs

SALT LAKE CITY – Congress is being asked to provide money for programs that fight human trafficking in the United States and abroad. Acting Utah Attorney General Brian Tarbet, and 46 other attorneys general sent a letter Wednesday asking Congress to fund the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or TVPRA.

The TVPRA was passed in 2000 and greatly increased America’s efforts to protect human trafficking victims, assist survivors, improve prevention methods and successfully prosecute human traffickers. The original legislation made human trafficking a federal crime.

“Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world and it’s happening here in Utah.” Tarbet said. “This is a tragedy that we can and must bring to an end.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking generates $32 billion each year and is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world. Drug dealing is still the largest criminal industry.

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 by the U.S. Department of Justice, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States were U.S. citizens. The average age U.S. citizens are first used for commercial sex is 12–14.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Submitted by the Utah Attorney General’s Office

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