On February 21, members of the Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR)—co-chaired by the Department of Justice and the Domestic Policy Council—met at the White House to discuss best practices for providing legal services to victims of human trafficking. The discussion of efforts to combat human trafficking is particularly timely as this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a significant piece of legislation in the fight against human trafficking.
At the meeting, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Joseph Grogan and Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams spoke about the fight against human trafficking. Then, a panel of experts, including a human trafficking victim services coordinator, prosecutors, and a human trafficking programs expert, identified ways in which federal agency cooperation and collaboration—along with state and local partnerships and non-profit partnerships—can help to identify, support, and uplift victims of human trafficking. Specifically, the panel underscored the broad range of needs that human trafficking victims may experience and the importance of tailored victim support. The experts also emphasized the importance of financial investigations to identify and prosecute the criminals involved and ensure that restitution is paid to victims. Restitution can be critical to a victim’s ability to move forward.
President Trump has made combating human trafficking a top priority. In support of that mission, and in furtherance of its promotion of Access to Justice, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy led a cross-component working group with the Office of the Deputy Attorney General to improve monetary restitution for human trafficking victims, and developed training materials for federal prosecutors that will assist them in ensuring victim compensation.