Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something worth celebrating--William Wilberforce Act passes!

Last Wednesday, at 6 p.m., the Senate finally renewed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Thank you to all our Abolitionists out there who helped by sending letters and calling your senators to urge them in supporting the renewal of our anti-trafficking law with the original criminal provisions of the House version. Thank you for engaging the power of your voice and vote. Perhaps we're not too naive in pursuing abolition of modern-day slavery after all.



the following is a letter from Trafficking in Persons Ambassador Mark Lagon
U.S. Anti-Trafficking Bill is Unanimously Reauthorized by Congress

On December 10, both the House and Senate passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. This bill aims to strengthen the U.S Government’s tools for combating human trafficking abroad and at home. Internationally, it focuses on the annual Trafficking in Persons Report as a diplomatic tool to encourage foreign governments to increase efforts against modern-day slavery and on child soldiers. At home, the bill aims to enhance penalties for traffickers and better protect victims on U.S. soil – whether foreign nationals or U.S. citizens. Stronger tools at home help us immensely to serve as a model for the world as we urge and assist other nations to confront slavery.

The bill embodies Congressional commitment to abolish trafficking in persons. With support from a diverse coalition, including faith-based and feminist organizations, the U.S. Government will continue to be a global force for change against slavery.

T-Visa Holders Can Become U.S. Citizens!
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this week an interim final rule that will allow “T” and “U” non-immigrants to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents. The rule implements provisions of the primary U.S. anti-trafficking legislation, and provides a pathway to citizenship for eligible victims of human trafficking.

“The action we are taking will further humanitarian interests by protecting victims of human trafficking and victims of other serious crimes,” said USCIS Acting Deputy Director Mike Aytes. “We also believe that law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute crimes is enhanced when we can provide important immigration benefits to victims.”

The victim-centered approach codified in the TVPA must be at the heart of all of our work in confronting human trafficking. I am pleased to finally see the promulgation of this regulation. It reinforces our goal to rescue, rehabilitate, and restore victims of trafficking – whether in commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, agricultural work or in factories.

Happy holidays to you and your families. May the New Year bring us more justice, fewer victims of exploitation, and renewed strength for all of us working to end slavery in our time,

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
U.S. Department of State


Ashleigh said...

I don't know if you will read this or not, but I would just like to congratulate you on everything you are doing. I really do wish I could do it personally.
I am a 17 year old from Australia, and I have been a long time supporter of TWLOHA. Recently I came across Love146 from a link provided on Paramore's official website. And I would just like to say it is quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever done.
I watched your 'Introduction to Love146', and it actually made me cry. It must have been so hard to do a thing such as that, but in doing something as difficult as what you did, you got something amazing out of it: Love146.
This girl gave you hope, and I can honestly tell you, she has given it to me too.
That video was quite possibly the most empowering video I have ever seen, and I too will never forget the look in those eyes.
I applaud your efforts and encourage you to keep doing what you are doing.
Love is the greatest gift of all, and you are truely providing that gift.

I have put your link on my myspace, just one thing I can do to help raise awareness.
Good luck for the future (:

Cheryl said...

I am in the same situation as Ashleigh; my eyes have been opened and my heart has been broken over the suffering of these little ones. I live in Columbus, Ohio, and will be working toward raising awareness wherever I can. Keep up the good work, Love146, it is not in vain! Cheryl

Desirea Rodgers said...

Of course we read your comments (and emails)!
Thank you Ashleigh and Cheryl. Your words, your passion, your heart; this is what can end child sex slavery and exploitation.
Keep up the Love.