POLICY / ADVOCACY

Members of the National Survivor Network (NSN) are influential leaders. The impact of our voice has led to important legislative policies and greater public awareness. Every year, the NSN policy team works on important intersectional issues within human trafficking and weighs in on federal legislation that they identify as most important in the response to human trafficking and the support and protection of human trafficking victims and survivors.

2019-2020 Policy Priorities

1. Worker Protection initiatives to reduce vulnerability to trafficking by establishing better wages, protections for workers.
H.R 399: PATH Act 

To direct the Secretary of Labor to support the development of pre-apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades that serve underrepresented populations, including individuals from low income and rural census tracts.

 

 

H.R 488: Employee Bonus Protection Act 

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide that an employee’s ‘regular rate’ for purposes of calculating overtime compensation will not be affected by certain additional payments.

 

 

S. 124: Freedom to Compete Act 

This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit an employer from enforcing, or threatening to enforce, any non-compete agreement in employment contracts with certain entry level, lower wage workers. A non-compete agreement entered into before the enactment of this bill shall be void and have no effect.

H.R 122: Original Living Wage Act 

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 4, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

 

 

2. Labor Trafficking specific focus to increase protections for labor workers to remove vulnerability to trafficking.
S. 175: Agricultural Worker Program 

A bill to improve agricultural job opportunities, benefits, and security for aliens in the United States, and for other purposes.

 

H.R. 3881, and S. 2224   
The Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act (VTAT) 

To amend section 214(c)(8) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to modify the data reporting requirements relating to nonimmigrant employees, and for other purposes.

3. Criminal Justice Reform to ensure protections for individuals being detained and engaging with law enforcement.
S. 169: Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act  

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an exemption from gross income for civil damages as recompense for trafficking in persons.

 

H.R. 1950: Sara’s Law

To authorize the court to impose a reduced sentence for a youthful victim offender, and for other purposes.

 

 

H.R. 1076: Fair Chance Act 

To prohibit Federal agencies and Federal contractors from requesting that an applicant for employment disclose criminal history record information before the applicant has received a conditional offer, and for other purposes.

 

Approach to End Human Trafficking

NSN Voice

NSN Collective Voices

NSN in the Media

2017–2018 Policy Priorities

I. Trafficking Survivors Relief Act (TSRA) S104/HR49

TSRA is a federal law to vacate and expunge the criminal arrests and convictions of individuals who are victims of trafficking. This bill will allow survivors to move beyond the federal crimes they were forced into committing while victims of trafficking. It will give court a process to determine and grant vacatur for those crimes directly related to their trafficking victimization.

NSN will champion the passage of TSRA at the federal level in order to help establish the gold standard for states to model their own vacatur laws after. There are many states with very limited vacatur laws that do not give the full scope of crimes victims are forced into committing by their traffickers.

II. Implementation and Updates to The United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking / Voices of Human Trafficking Act

In 2015 the President signed into law the Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act (Sec. 115 of Public Law 114-22). This Act established the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, which s provides advice and recommendations to the Senior Policy Operating Group and the President’s Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

NSN Priorities for continuing to assist the Council are to work on removing the sunset clause, allowing the council to become a permanent part of the Anti-Trafficking efforts of the government. To remove the language that is a barrier to paying the council for the time and expertise. As well as add language that authorizes funding for the council to compensate time, travel, and any materials required in the general operations and creation of the annual report.

We also continue to engage with the Department of State and the White House on the appointment of additional council members—as only 11 have been appointed but 14 members are eligible.

III. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017- Department of Health and Human Services

In 2013, the US government finalized its five year strategic action plan to improve government coordination to prevent, identify and serve survivors of human trafficking. This strategic plan is a available for review below.

In 2017 the NSN will focus on ensuring the Department of HHS is effectively fulfilling its commitments in this long-term plan from a survivor-informed perspective. As well as offering our services to them for the continuation of this endeavor.

IV. Department of State-Implementation of Consular Videos required under TVPRA of 2013

The TVPRA of 2013 required the US government to begin showing videos to educate all temporary workers entering the United States on the risk of human trafficking and provide information about how to reach out for help. The video produced under this mandate is available for viewing by clicking the button below.

In 2017 the NSN will work with the Department of State to ensure the video and other information provided to those entering the United States is accessible and survivor informed. To overcome some general assumptions on language use, as well as barriers that have been identified by survivors of trafficking with the current video and brochure.

H.R 488: Employee Bonus Protection Act

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide that an employee’s ‘regular rate’ for purposes of calculating overtime compensation will not be affected by certain additional payments.

Policy Leadership Team

NAT PAUL

Policy Advocacy Chair

Delta 8.7 Author, Former Member of U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

Rafael Bautista

Policy Champion

Expert Consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime Training & Technical Assistance Center (OVCTTAC) and the National Human Trafficking Training & Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC)