Press Releases

Representatives Gwen Moore, Don Beyer, and Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Introduce Legislation to Fight Human Trafficking

Today, Representatives Gwen Moore, Don Beyer, and Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, introduced the Counter Human Trafficking Research and Development Act. Their legislation will create a National Counter Human Trafficking Research and Development Initiative at the White House to develop anti-trafficking technologies and accelerate scientific understanding of human trafficking, including tools to better measure the prevalence of human trafficking and to detect and disrupt human trafficking demand.

Additionally, this legislation will support federal agency coordination of survivor-informed research and development, coordinate data sharing, establish an advisory committee that brings voices and perspectives of researchers, higher education, law enforcement, non-profit organizations the table, and fund critical research in human trafficking through the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“The human trafficking crisis affects millions of people every year, and too often the agencies and organizations combatting this crisis don’t have adequate resources available to them,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “By investing in anti-trafficking research and establishing both a National Counter Human Trafficking Research and Development Initiative and a multidisciplinary advisory committee for this Initiative, this bill will enable data-sharing between agencies that collect human trafficking information, accelerate our scientific understanding of human trafficking, and support the development of anti-trafficking technologies. There is still much work to be done in our fight against human trafficking, but this bill ensures the necessary resources and infrastructure are available to eradicate this heinous crime.”

“Human trafficking is happening communities across the country including Milwaukee targeting some of the most vulnerable people in our society, including, women, children, and undocumented immigrants. A lack of basic data and information about key aspects of human trafficking is hindering our response to this urgent issue.

“We can and must equip ourselves with the tools and technology that will help us end human trafficking once and for all. Our legislation takes an important step by harnessing our government’s resources, allowing us to stay ahead of traffickers and protect lives. It also includes direction to ensure the new Initiative examines and includes the needs of diverse populations, including girls and women of color, homeless individuals, LQBTQIA+ youth, Indigenous people, migrant workers, and other groups that are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking while requiring measures to protect victims and survivors’ privacy, confidentiality and security.”

“I look forward to working with my good friend Mr. Beyer, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and my colleagues on the Science Committee to move this bill to the House floor as soon as possible,” said Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI).

“Supporting research to advance our understanding of human trafficking and development of technologies to end it are exemplars of the positive role science can play in society”, said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “Human trafficking impacts communities across the United States and many countries around the world. The Counter Human Trafficking Research and Development Act addresses the need for a coordinated research program at the Federal level that can inform evidence-based anti-trafficking interventions. The interagency committee and research directed under this Act will help fill knowledge gaps, bring together interdisciplinary teams of scientists, and facilitate the development of standards for improved data sharing with consideration of survivor privacy. I thank Representatives Moore and Beyer for their leadership on this legislation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important measure.”

Read more about the Counter Human Trafficking Research and Development Act here.

The bill is a response to a hearing the House Science, Space, and Technology held in February of this year.  At the hearing, Members heard from experts on current gaps in human trafficking research, opportunities for technology development to disrupt human trafficking networks and to strengthen partnerships between academia and practitioners, and challenges in translating research into evidence-based and effective anti-trafficking policy.