SAVE Girls bill introduced to give $50M more to fight trafficking
Published 3:58 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023
Thursday, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), of Brookhaven, joined Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to introduce bipartisan legislation to provide more resources to fight human trafficking.
The Stopping the Abuse, Victimization and Exploitation of Girls Act (SAVE Girls) would authorize an additional $50 million in funding for a grant program to prevent the trafficking of young women and girls, including — but not limited to — vulnerable children who have been smuggled across U.S. borders.
“Sadly, cartels and coyotes have turned human trafficking into a multi-billion-dollar industry, and we know it is mainly women and girls who are paying the price,” Hyde-Smith said. “The SAVE Girls Act would help ensure there are more resources available to combat this humanitarian crisis and provide support to surviving victims.”
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries, and more than 90 percent of female trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation,” said Blackburn. “We cannot continue to allow criminal cartels to flourish while they rape, trade, and exploit women and girls.”
The SAVE Girls Act would:
- Permit the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to award grants to states, localities, and nongovernment organizations committed to preventing and stopping the smuggling and trafficking of young women and girls.
- Specify the primary focus of this grant program is to prevent the smuggling of young women and girls across the border, as well as to prevent survivors from becoming or remaining victims of trafficking.
- Provide additional resources to combat the humanitarian crisis plaguing girls across the United States without disrupting the statutory structure of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
The State Department estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the United States annually, with this trafficking disproportionately affecting girls and women. Additionally, nearly one in four victims of human trafficking in the U.S. is a child, and females are consistently the primary targets of trafficking.