Tester Backs Bipartisan Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act
Legislation would provide detection and prevention training to school staff, parents, teachers, and students
U.S. Senator Jon Tester is backing the bipartisan Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act to create a grant program to help non-profit organizations and schools train teachers, students, staff, and parents to recognize, respond to, and prevent human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is an often-overlooked crisis, and in order to fight it, we need folks in our communities to know how to identify when it’s happening and how to respond to it,” Tester said. “This legislation provides schools and other organizations with the tools and resources they need to help strengthen public safety through education and community involvement.”
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act would require the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) to establish a grant program to help non-profit organizations and schools develop and implement age- and culturally-appropriate curriculum to help students and teachers identify and respond to signs of human trafficking. It would also help schools establish procedures for reporting instances of trafficking or exploitation to law enforcement and for connecting victims with appropriate social services providers.
The bill would provide up to $15 million per year from Fiscal Year 2021 to Fiscal Year 2025 for the grant program, and requires ACF to create programs tailored to elementary, middle school, and high school students. It would also give priority to those most at risk of human trafficking, including kids in Native and underserved communities.
Tester has been a champion in the fight to end human trafficking. Last year, he blasted Majority Leader McConnell for failing victims of human trafficking by refusing to bring the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 up for a vote in the Senate, and he successfully pushed his Not Invisible Act through the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He also sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray protesting the reassignment of the only FBI agent in Montana focused on human trafficking.