Last Thursday, June 30, new legislation was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to help the Federal Government effectively work with anti-trafficking nonprofit groups, including Operation Underground Railroad. Tim Ballard and Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, met over three years ago to discuss the possibilities of collaboration between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), like O.U.R., and the Federal Government. The advance of this bill is a historical mark in the fight against trafficking and the freeing of victims.
The legislation includes plans to create a Public-Private Advisory Council. This council will consist of eight to fourteen representatives from nongovernmental organizations that have a strong understanding and substantial experience in the field of anti-trafficking. This knowledge includes both rescuing victims and providing excellent aftercare for them.
This council will be a direct line of communication between the government and NGOs. The members of this council will collaborate to submit recommendations to Congressional Committees for the Federal Government to know how to implement best practices for fighting human trafficking. Senator Hatch speaks positively about what this council will be able to do. “This Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council will allow government agencies to draw from the unique knowledge and experience of groups like O.U.R., allowing us to leverage government resources to fight human trafficking around the world,” Hatch says.
This legislation melds together the influence of two groups who are both vital to the eradication of human trafficking. Tim Ballard adds, “Human trafficking is a critical issue, and to more efficiently eradicate the problem, nonprofit groups need increased coordination with the Federal Government. This bill establishes a way to share successful anti-human trafficking strategies between federal agencies and organizations like Operation Underground Railroad.”
This Public-Private Advisory Council will open a new chapter in the fight against modern-day slavery for the United States. This legislation will allow both groups to effectively draw on each other’s expertise and work together to lay a strong foundation for future anti-trafficking efforts.
(Image source: Francisco Kjolseth | Salt Lake Tribune)
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