Recently, Jessica Bosquette shared how she saw the Trafficking Victims Protection Act make a difference in the lives of children in the Dominican Republic. She also shared that if Americans failed to tell their senators they want the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to pass, the positive results it has yielded will be gone. Today, Jesse Eaves, WV Policy Advisor on child protection, provides an update on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. He has news that requires a response-- if Americans want to see results, we must act soon.
* * *
There's no doubt about it – it's been a scorcher in Washington, D.C.
Luckily for us, the heat outside is only matched by the heat inside Congress to take action on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) S.1301.
But now we can turn up the heat. We have to make it a political necessity for U.S. senators to vote ‘yes’ for this legislation.
‘It’s time for Congress to act’
On July 17, Senators Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Marco Rubio from Florida came together across the aisle to write an opinion piece in the newspaper Roll Call on the importance of passing the TVPRA. Their central message: “We introduced this legislation one year ago, and it is time for Congress to act.” Truer words were never spoken.
For more than a year, advocates across the country have called, emailed, and met with their elected leaders, telling them to pass this legislation and make the Unites States a global leader in the fight against slavery once again. Contrary to what you might believe, Congress doesn’t act unless you tell them to.
Last week, I met with senate staff who also work tirelessly promoting the TVPRA. They praised all the citizens who called and persuaded their U.S. senators to cosponsor this bipartisan bill.
During the meeting, the message to us, the organizations working in Washington, was simple: Your job is done.
Their message to you, the constituents is this: It’s now or never.
Here's why. On July 27, Congress began their summer recess, which lasts until September. When they return, there will be a small window of time to get the TVPRA to the senate floor for a vote.
Your U.S. senators need to know you still care about this bill. If they don’t hear from you right now, they will assume you don’t think it’s an important issue. You need to prove them wrong.
Clicking “Like” on Facebook won’t cut it
If you think it’s wrong to enslave a man, woman, or child; if you want to stand up to injustice. If you want to be a central player in the fight against modern day slavery, you must to call your U.S. senators every week between now and September and convince them to vote for the TVPRA.
To those of you who have already called or written, thank you. Please keep the heat turned up so the bill passes.
If you don’t, the centerpiece of the United Sates fight against human slavery will die. It’s time to fly in the face of the “slacktivism” we hear so much about these days. Clicking "Like" on Facebook won't cut it. We need to show we want our elected leaders to act.
It's that simple. Feeling the pressure yet? Now go turn that pressure on your U.S. senators.
I leave you with the inspiring call to action from Senators Leahy and Rubio:
Part of what makes America exceptional is our compassion as a nation and our understanding that our most fundamental freedoms are not uniquely American privileges but are instead universal human rights. Trafficking is an affront to human dignity that we cannot ignore. The United States shines as a beacon of hope to so many who face human rights abuses abroad. We cannot sit back idly while this injustice continues not only elsewhere in the world, but also here at home.
Our laws must be renewed and updated to protect victims and improve our government’s ability to combat modern-day slavery. No matter where they are in the world, the victims of human trafficking need a strong America to champion their cause as our own.
Call your U.S. senators now and keep calling them until they get the message: Americans want to stop slavery. Vote for the TVPRA S.1301!
You have an opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless. Let your senator know you care about human trafficking and the TVPRA- call them today!
You can see which senators have sponsored the bill by clicking here and selecting 'cosponsors.' If your senator isn't on that list- it's extremely important that you call weekly. Senators need to know that the people they represent care about the U.S. leading this effort against human wrong.