“The scourge of human trafficking is the modern-day equivalent of slavery,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Tuesday as he announced that the Justice Department is awarding more than $35 million in grants to support housing for victims of human trafficking.
“Eradicating this horrific crime and helping its victims are top priorities for President Trump’s Administration, including the Department of Justice,” AG Barr said. “I also thank all the survivors and their advocates here for their courage and determination to end this evil practice.”
The announcement came at the White House Roundtable on Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking where First Daughter Ivanka Trump also played a role and was thanked by AG Barr.
These funds will help 73 organizations in 34 States to fill an urgent need of trafficking victims. When survivors are liberated from the nightmare of trafficking, they often face a new challenge – they have nowhere to live. Tragically, the trauma of trafficking can give way to new dangers caused by homelessness and can even result in a re-victimization by predators.
“The three inspiring organizations represented here today will use their grants to help more than 100 people, and the total number helped across the country will be in the thousands.” Barr continued.
Barr said, “Aside from financial support, the department will continue to use the full force of our law enforcement resources to investigate, prosecute, and punish the people behind this cruel and criminal scourge.”
The grants are the first-ever federal program dedicated exclusively to providing housing for survivors of human trafficking and are part of approximately 100 million dollars in total grants that the department anticipates awarding this year to combat human trafficking.
In late January, AG Barr and a group of others met at the White House Summit on Human Trafficking. “I promised that the Justice Department would do everything in its power to stop human traffickers and to help survivors.” Barr stated that these grants mark an important step toward fulfilling that promise.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a law that has enabled great progress in this fight.