Blog of Rights

Giving Voice to Trafficking Victims

By Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:26pm

Tomorrow the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing that will finally give voice to trafficking victims.

The hearing is being held at the request of some committee members because a previous hearing on trafficking, two weeks ago, focused on bogus claims that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) discriminated against the U.S. Conference of Bishops because it did not award the bishops a grant intended to fund services for victims of human trafficking. Instead, in awarding the grant, HHS decided to emphasize the particular health needs of these victims, who are often exploited sexually, forced into sex slavery, raped, and abused. The department therefore gave a preference to organizations that agreed to provide victims with the full range of reproductive health services.

That hearing omitted the most important voice in the discussion, that of the victims themselves. Tomorrow, the victims’ voice will finally be heard.

We’ll be live tweeting the hearing. Follow us here.

Check out this video from one of the women testifying at tomorrow’s follow-up hearing:

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube's privacy statement on their website and Google's privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, click here.

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