Originally Published at Essence
By Donna Owens
Members of Congress have joined forces with one of the descendants of Frederick Douglass to introduce anti-human trafficking legislation named after the renowned abolitionist.
The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 5150) was announced on September 3, coinciding with the anniversary of Douglass’ self-emancipation in the 19th Century.
The bipartisan bill was authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) with co-lead, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). It would provide $1.6 billion over five years to combat forms of modern-day slavery in the U.S. and around the world. The measure builds on programs enacted by Smith’s landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, while also creating new programs and strengthening laws to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators.
The legislation has so far been endorsed by at least 17 anti-trafficking organizations and coalitions. They include: the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, ECPAT-USA, the Foundation United, Covenant House International and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.