October 31, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that he and 43 other state and territorial attorneys general have signed on to a letter to U.S. House and Senate Appropriations leadership urging them to fund a series of programs to fight the growing problem of human trafficking and slavery. The letter was sent Friday by the National Association of Attorneys General.
“It’s disturbing that in the 21st century we must continue to fight human trafficking and slavery,” Koster said. “And even more concerning is that it has become an ever-growing problem. But fight it we will, and we are asking for federal funding increases to help us investigate and prosecute traffickers and provide services to the victims.”
The attorneys general have asked congressional leaders to include specific funding levels for the Office of Justice Programs/State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance; Legal Activities/Civil Rights Division; Legal Activities/United States Attorney; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The letter states, “The fact that the enslavement and trade in human beings exists in our modern world as a disturbingly large, highly profitable illicit industry is unacceptable. Slavery damages our communities, taints the products and services we consume and the profits we earn, and is one of the most pressing human rights challenges of our time.”
A copy of the NAAG letter with requested funding levels can be found here: http://www.naag.org/assets/files/pdf/signons/20111028.TVPA%20Final%20Letter.pdf.