TOPEKA – (November 5, 2012) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked Congress to continue funding for programs that combat human trafficking.
Schmidt, along with 46 other attorneys general, requested the continued funding in a letter last week to Congressional leaders urging reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, generating over $32 billion in profits to traffickers annually, according to some estimates,” the attorneys general wrote. “Victims often experience severe trauma that requires intensive therapy and rehabilitation. In addition, human trafficking and slavery criminal cases are often complicated and involve lengthy legal proceedings requiring additional resources for prosecutors as well as victims.”
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was reauthorized by Congress in 2008 but allowed to expire in 2011. Programs funded through the Act include task forces that work to protect victims, assistance in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers and the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline.
In Kansas, Schmidt’s office leads a multi-agency Human Trafficking Advisory Board, which was established in January 2010. This team of advisers is composed of law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, court personnel, advocates, victims of human trafficking and other parties who have expertise in this field.
Schmidt said he hopes Congress will quickly take up the legislation, which has gained bipartisan support.