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H.R. 2200 (115th): Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 8, 2019.

Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018

This bill establishes programs to combat human trafficking, forced labor, and the use of child soldiers. It also modifies existing programs to address such issues.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may award grants to local educational agencies to educate school staff on how to recognize and respond to signs of labor and sex trafficking, and to educate students on how to avoid becoming trafficking victims.

The Department of State shall ensure that each diplomatic or consular post has a designated employee to receive information from severe trafficking victims or information about such victims. The information shall be transmitted to the relevant agencies, and the designated employee shall coordinate with foreign government and groups to provide support to the victims.

Domestic air carriers that contract to provide air transportation to the federal government shall report annually various information related to human trafficking. Such information shall include the number of carrier personnel that are trained in detecting and reporting potential trafficking, and the number of notifications of potential human trafficking victims the carrier has received.

The bill directs various government agencies, including the State Department and the Department of Labor, to annually report to the General Services Administration information related to efforts to ensure compliance with various laws and regulations relating to human trafficking. The report shall also contain information on investigations into contractors that may have violated such laws and regulations.

Federal Acquisition Institute courses for the acquisition workforce shall contain material on law and regulations relating to human trafficking and federal government contracting.

The Department of Justice may make grants for programs to designate a prosecutor for cases involving severe human trafficking.

The State Department shall suspend issuing visas for domestic workers hired by individuals affiliated with an international organization or foreign diplomatic mission, if there is an unpaid judgment related to human trafficking against a person affiliated with that mission. The State Department shall suspend issuing such A-3 or G-5 visas to individuals affiliated with that mission, if the mission refuses to waive diplomatic immunity in a prosecution involving human trafficking.

The bill also gives the President authority to investigate or impose sanctions on foreign government officials who participate in or condone severe forms of human trafficking for significant financial gain.

The Government Accountability Office shall report to Congress on obstacles to enforcing the prohibition against the importation of goods made by convicts or using forced labor. The report shall address topics including best practices for private employers to comply with the law and federal efforts to enforce the prohibition.

Labor shall, in its public list of goods believed to be produced using forced or child labor, include goods that are produced with inputs made with forced or child labor.

The State Department shall report to Congress annually on its practices and strategies to combat human trafficking in post-conflict or post-disaster areas. It shall also report to Congress on countries that have a workforce that is more than 80% nationals from other countries. The report shall assess each country's progress toward implementing the recommendations from the State Department's most recent Trafficking in Persons Report.

The U.S. Agency for International Development shall report annually to Congress on its expenditures and grants for programs to combat human trafficking and forced labor.

The bill expands the definition of a "child soldier" as used in the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 to include minors who take part in hostilities as part of police forces or other security forces or recruited into such forces. It also modifies various reporting requirements on issues involving child soldiers.

The State Department shall elevate the issue of child sexual assault by Afghan security forces at the Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, scheduled for November 27-28, 2018. The Department of Defense shall report to Congress on efforts to establish a mechanism to allow U.S. personnel to report on child sexual abuse by Afghan security forces that work with or are trained by the United States.

The bill reauthorizes through FY2021 various programs for combatting human trafficking.