U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) will introduce the Stopping the Abuse, Victimization, and Exploitation of Girls (“SAVE Girls”) Act, which provides states, local governments, and non-profits with the vital resources they need to put an end to the trafficking of young women and girls.
Specifically, the bipartisan legislation authorizes $50 million in additional funding for a grant program to prevent the trafficking of young women and girls, including, but not limited to, vulnerable children who have been smuggled across our border.
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries, and more than 90 percent of female trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation,” said Senator Blackburn. “We cannot continue to allow criminal cartels to flourish while they rape, trade, and exploit women and girls. I thank my colleagues for joining this bipartisan solution to help stop the trafficking industry in its tracks and protect victims.”
“We must do all we can to prevent human smuggling and trafficking across both our country’s borders,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will help to ensure states, local governments, and nonprofits have needed resources to combat these crimes and support those who have already been victimized.”
“Sadly, cartels and coyotes have turned human trafficking into a multi-billion dollar industry, and we know it is mainly women and girls who are paying the price,” said Senator Hyde-Smith. “The SAVE Girls Act would help ensure there are more resources available to combat this humanitarian crisis and provide support to surviving victims.”
- The State Department has estimated that between 14,500 and 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the United States annually.
- Unfortunately, trafficking disproportionately affects girls and women, and nearly one in every four victims of human trafficking in the United States is reported to be a child.
- Trafficking is an important issue at the border, where too often smugglers and traffickers take advantage of vulnerable adults and children.
The SAVE Girls Act:
- Permits the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to award grants to states and localities, as well as NGOs that are committed to preventing and stopping the smuggling and trafficking of young women and girls.
- Makes clear that the primary focus of this grant program is to prevent the smuggling of young women and girls across the border, as well as to prevent survivors from becoming or remaining victims of trafficking.
- Does not disrupt the statutory structure of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, but simply provides additional resources to combat the humanitarian crisis plaguing girls across the United States.