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Legislation to create a special human trafficking advisory council, sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch—R-Utah, the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee—passed in the Senate.

“Nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit groups like Utah’s Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) have done incredible work in fighting the scourge of human trafficking and bringing this critical fight to the forefront,” Hatch said. “I believe that with better cooperation and partnership with federal government agencies, they can do even more, and the key to that is coordination. This Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council allows 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.”

“I am grateful for Senator Hatch’s leadership on this very important bill,” Founder and CEO of O.U.R., Tim Ballard, said. “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.”

Background

The Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council:

  • Is composed of eight to fourteen representatives from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit groups that have significant knowledge and experience in anti-human trafficking or rehabilitation and aftercare of human trafficking victims and survivors.
  • Serves as a point of contact for Federal agencies reaching out to anti-human trafficking nonprofits and NGOs for input on programming and policies related to anti-human trafficking efforts.
  • Has members of the Advisory Council appointed by the President for a term of two years and can be reappointed to serve an additional two-year term.
    • They are not considered employees of the Federal government and shall not receive compensation.
  • Meets at its own discretion, but not at least once a year.
  • Formulates assessments and recommendations to ensure that the policy and programming efforts of the Federal Government conform to the best practices in the field of anti-human trafficking and rehabilitation and aftercare of victims.
  • Submits a report to Congressional Committees with any recommendations and action items, not later than one year after the date of enactment.
  • Sunsets September 30, 2020.