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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Congress listened – now we keep going. FREEDOM UNITED.

“For six months, Rose was beaten and forced to sell her body on the street. Her pimp kept her under 24-hour surveillance and deprived her of food and vital medicine.”[1]

Congress has finally introduced the bill we’ve been supporting that will help protect youth in America from trafficking and exploitation – the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act (S. 2571; H.R. 5339). And this announcement is timely as April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Now, you have a chance to help ensure that kids like Rose don’t fall through the cracks.Tell Congress to pass the RHYTPA and protect kids from trafficking.

Traffickers target homeless children and youth because they are low risk and easy to manipulate. Their vulnerability, combined with inadequate support, makes homeless and runaway children and youth particularly susceptible to human trafficking, often being forced into exploitative labor or sex to receive basic necessities.

36% of all labor trafficking and 49% of all sex trafficking cases reported in the United States in 2016 involved victims whose exploitation began when they were only children, between the ages of 12 and 17, but there are likely many other cases that go unreported.[2]

Call on Congress now to protect children in the United States from exploitation and abuse.

Senator Heitkamp, one of the bill’s introducers said, “We know that children and teenagers who run away…are at greater risk of being trafficked and exploited, and they lack the support networks and wrap-around services they need to succeed. We must provide them with every opportunity to reach their full potential in a safe and supportive environment.”

That’s why reauthorizing the RHYTPA is so important – because it better protectsrunaway and homeless youth in the US and ensures their access to life-saving services. The bill must now be assigned to committees in Congress for voting. And if it passes that vote, it has to be voted on twice more before it becomes a law.

We still have a journey ahead of us, but we will keep raising our voices together for America’s vulnerable youth! Keep up the momentum...

In solidarity,

Joanna, Alex and the teams at Freedom United and National Network for Youth.

©2018 Freedom United is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
4501 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 132, Raleigh, NC 27604 USA

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