Media CenterCRS Applauds U.S. House of Representatives’ Passage of Anti-Human Trafficking Bill

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 955- 7125

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WASHINGTON, DC, July 14, 2017 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) applauds the House of Representatives’ reauthorization Wednesday of the most important law in the country’s global fight against human trafficking.

Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) and Karen Bass (D-CA-37) cosponsored the Frederick Douglas Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2200). The bipartisan bill, which reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, wisely underscores measures to prevent human trafficking, something that CRS has emphasized in all its anti-trafficking initiatives.

“The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of speaking out and working against all forms of human trafficking,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS’ vice president for advocacy. “We are pleased to see Congress continue to demonstrate global leadership and outline actions that will prevent further suffering, such as addressing the root causes that make people vulnerable. With more than 20 million people victimized by human trafficking, we have a lot of work to do.”

Pope Francis has called human trafficking a “crime against humanity.” He has said, “The victims of this are from every walk of life, but most are found among the poorest and the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.” CRS has implemented more than 145 programs since 2000 to address human trafficking, and is committed to working with the U.S. government and Church partners around the world to protect, preserve and promote human dignity.

CRS, in partnership with the University of Notre Dame, hosted a workshop this week to further refine a comprehensive action-framework to prevent human trafficking. With field practitioners from eight countries and academics from four universities, the workshop offered a timely opportunity to hone in on the best ways to prevent human trafficking by addressing both risk factors as well as trigger events.

“The main factors that create a vulnerability to human trafficking are poverty, combined with a history of abuse and the lack of good alternatives. In order to eradicate modern slavery and restore human dignity, we must unite in our efforts to focus on these factors and mainstream prevention into all development and humanitarian programming,” said Dr. Lucy Steinitz, CRS’ senior technical advisor for protection. “The provisions in this bill to incorporate anti-trafficking and protection strategies into country development strategies will help move us forward.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.


Nikki Gamer

Media Relations Manager

Nikki Gamer
July 14, 2017

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Media Relations Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement of...More