Child trafficking is no joke

For more than a year, World Vision has advocated for reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The law, which represents the cornerstone of U.S. policies to fight modern-day slavery, expired on September 30, 2011, because Congress did not vote to reauthorize it in time.

As a result, U.S. efforts to combat trafficking are essentially on hold until the law is reauthorized.

Here is an update from World Vision's child protection policy advisor, Jesse Eaves.

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I’ve never really liked April Fools Day, because it’s possible I’m one of the most gullible people ever. I fall for every joke and prank.

Six months ago, if you had told me that by April 1, 2012, Congress still would not have reauthorized the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, I would have declared my gullibility streak over. Up until now, this bill has always been passed and reauthorized unanimously. How could it ever get so stuck?

Sadly, the joke is on us. Even worse, it's a joke on 27 million enslaved people around the world.

Tell Congress: “We’re tired of the game.”

Six months have passed since Congress allowed the expiration of the centerpiece of all U.S. policies on human trafficking. Every day that the TVPA languishes is symbolic of America surrendering our role as a global leader in combating trafficking.

Thankfully, advocates like you don’t find this joke amusing. One month ago, a group of World Vision advocates came to Washington to tell their elected leaders that they were tired of the game. They told their leaders to get moving. And it’s working.

We have seen six new cosponsors join the Senate bill (S.1301) and are expecting a seventh any day now. Prior to that flurry of activity, we had not seen anyone sign on since January. In short, things could start happening in a hurry.

There are now 40 cosponsors in the Senate. We gained 6 in March. How about we try for 51 by the end of April?  That means a majority of the Senate supports the bill.

Better yet, if we can get to 60, it will leave Senate leaders no choice but to bring this bill to the vote it’s deserved for so long. Help us get to 60! Tell your senators it’s time to act.

We are focusing on the Senate for a reason. Once the Senate bill passes, the pressure on the House of Representatives to break its partisan deadlock will be tremendous. Our leaders need to know this is too important for them not to act.

Call or tweet your senators

Your leaders are listening, but we need to be clear with them: Enough already. The joke isn’t funny. It’s time to rise above slavery.

Use our call form to look up your senators' numbers and log your call. We also provide the call script in this tool. The message is short and simple.

If you are part of the Twitterverse, tweet these senators to tell them to reauthorize the TVPA. Just click on the buttons to the right to send your tweets! (Senators whose names aren't listed below have already agreed to cosponsor the bill.)

State Senator Advocacy Tweet
ALASKA Mark Begich (D)
ALASKA Lisa Murkowski (R)
ALABAMA Jeff Sessions (R)
ALABAMA Richard C Shelby (R)
ARKANSAS John Boozman (R)
ARIZONA John McCain (R)
DELAWARE Thomas Carper (D)
HAWAII Daniel K Inouye (D)
IOWA Chuck Grassley (R)
IOWA Tom Harkin (D)
IDAHO Mike Crapo (R) Not on Twitter
IDAHO James E Risch (R) Not on Twitter
ILLINOIS Mark Kirk (R)
INDIANA Daniel Coats (R)
INDIANA Richard G Lugar (R)
KANSAS Jerry Moran (R)
KANSAS Pat Roberts (R)
KENTUCKY Mitch McConnell (R)
KENTUCKY Rand Paul (R)
LOUISIANA David Vitter (R)
MAINE Olympia J Snowe (R)
MAINE Susan M Collins (R)
MICHIGAN Carl Levin (D)
MISSOURI Roy Blunt (R)
MISSOURI Claire McCaskill (D)
MISSISSIPPI Roger F Wicker (R)
MONTANA Max Baucus (D)
NORTH DAKOTA Kent Conrad (D) Not on Twitter
NORTH DAKOTA John Hoeven (R)
NEBRASKA Mike Johanns (R)
NEBRASKA Ben Nelson (D)
NEW HAMPSHIRE Kelly Ayotte (R)
NEW HAMPSHIRE Jeanne Shaheen (D)
NEW JERSEY Frank R Lautenberg (D)
NEW MEXICO Jeff Bingaman (D) Not on Twitter
NEW MEXICO Tom Udall (D)
NEVADA Harry Reid (D)
OKLAHOMA Tom Coburn (R)
OKLAHOMA James M Inhofe (R)
PENNSYLVANIA Patrick J Toomey (R)
RHODE ISLAND Jack Reed (D) Not on Twitter
RHODE ISLAND Sheldon Whitehouse (D)D)
SOUTH CAROLINA Lindsey Graham (R)
SOUTH DAKOTA Tim Johnson (D)
TENNESSEE Lamar Alexander (R)
TENNESSEE Bob Corker (R)
TEXAS John Cornyn (R)
TEXAS Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)R)
UTAH Orrin G Hatch (R)
UTAH Mike Lee (R)
VIRGINIA Mark R Warner (D)
VIRGINIA Jim Webb (D) Not on Twitter
WISCONSIN Ron Johnson (R)
WISCONSIN Herb Kohl (D) Not on Twitter
WEST VIRGINIA John D Rockefeller, IV (D)D)
WYOMING John Barrasso (R)
WYOMING Michael B Enzi (R) Not on Twitter


These calls and tweets matter. We need your prayers, and we need your voices. You helped get this important piece of legislation unstuck in March. Now, let’s pull it through the finish line in April.

Read related posts: Congress: Don’t play politics with child slaveryTrafficking victims protection: Keeping a law that works; and Hard facts about labor trafficking.


    Please help our children. They are innocent and they need to have a normal childhood. This is sick and it cannot be ignored. If nothing is done and heads are turned on child slavery and trafficking then you are as guilty as the people doing it!

    first of all, thank you for what your organization does around the world and for the opportunity to be a part of it. i saw this article on facebook regarding the bill for human trafficking having expired, and here is my question: neither of my senators (North Carolina) appear on the list you provide, so i'm hoping that means they already support the bill. can you let me know if that is correct, and if so, should i still contact them? thanks for your help.

    Hi Marti, yes it does! Both of North Carolina's senators support the TVPRA. You can always send a message to them thanking them and showing your support of them for it! -Jonathan, WV staff

    we strongly support for the child slavery and Trafficking.we the women organization of the Philippines would like to ask the senators to make law that really works for the victims.A clear facts that this is an issues that need attention globally.We are part of the campaign to stop the child slavery and trafficking.We should help each other.It is not our duty to participate its our advocacy.

    Pls update & include Washington state.

    Hi Marcus. Good news! Both of Washington's senators already support the TVPRA. You can send an encouraging note to them for it. God bless, -Jonathan, WV staff

    Please stop the sale of children as sex slaves.

    Where is California?

    I am trying to find out why this bill is stalled. Are there controversial additions to the newest version? Is Congress just lazy (my guess)? Does anyone have a link to who is for and against the law, and more importantly, why?

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