Slaughter Announces $600,000 for Worker Justice Center to Combat Human
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) today announced a $600,000 Department of Justice (DOJ) award for the Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc., which provides specialized legal services for survivors of human trafficking in agriculture. The funding was authorized by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), a law co-authored by Rep. Slaughter that was the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking, focusing on prevention, protection, and prosecution. The funding will be dispersed over three years and will be used to expand housing and shelter services, economic education initiatives, and mental health, substance abuse and legal services to victims of human trafficking.
“We have an obligation to help the most vulnerable among us, and that includes the survivors of human trafficking right here in Western New York,” said Slaughter. “I’m proud to have helped write the law that made this major federal award possible so that the Workers Justice Center can continue their important work. This grant will make sure this organization has the tools it needs to help local survivors,” said Slaughter.
The grant was one of several projects nationwide funded under the Department of Justice’s Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Grant Program, which enhances the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking. The program aims to increase communities’ capacity to provide aid to human trafficking survivors through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities.
The Worker Justice Center of New York has been leading the fight against human trafficking in agriculture for over 30 years. In 2001, under their previous name – Farmworker Legal Services of New York – they brought the first case of human trafficking to be prosecuted by the U.S. government under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Slaughter has been a powerful advocate in Congress for survivors of human trafficking. In addition to co-authoring the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, she has also passed legislation combating child sex trafficking and fought against the U.S. Department of State’s troublesome 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which put political and trade expedience above human trafficking victims worldwide. This year, she has been outspoken in her criticism of the Trump administration’s decision to cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which drastically impacted international services for victims of human trafficking.