In regard to letters to OMB, CWLA has signed onto a letter by the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) in support of increased funding to address trafficking including prevention and treatment. The lengthy request covers a range of programs across the departments including the Victim Services Grants & Human Trafficking Task Forces, Minor Victim Services Grants, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU), Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU), Office on Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Citizens, and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
The letter indicates that the most recent data from the Department of Justice, 1,000 juveniles under the age of 18 were arrested for prostitution in 2011. In Los Angeles County, the Succeed Through Achievement and Resilience (STAR) Court Program estimates that 210 girls are arrested annually for prostitution. In asking for more money for victims of trafficking the letter states:
“Specialized, comprehensive, trauma-informed, gender-specific assistance to minor victims of human trafficking is essential to combating this crime. Minor victims of trafficking face major hurdles in recovering from the abuse and trauma of their trafficking situation. Law enforcement around the country has identified the lack of specialized housing programs as the greatest obstacle in bringing effective prosecutions against child traffickers.”
“…DOJ must carefully administer this new grant fund in close collaboration with …HHS and that the key areas within the grant fund include: residential care, 24-hour response services, clothing and basic necessities, case management services, mental health counseling, comprehensive, trauma-informed, and gender specific services, legal services, and specialized training for social service providers, public and private sector personnel, and outreach and education. HHS in its runaway and homeless youth programs and other services grant areas already have technical expertise in all of the above-listed areas.”