The Human Thread

October 10, 2016

Author: editor

Category: Advocate

The Human Thread supports Trafficking Survivors Relief Act


The Human Thread has endorsed the bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016, which enables human trafficking victims to clear federal convictions from their records for crimes that traffickers forced them to commit.

Introduced on September 28, 2016 Congresswomen Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH), this bill has been prioritized by the National Survivor Network. To read their press release on this legislation, click here.

This bill contains the following important provisions:

  • A person convicted of non-violent federal offenses may petition a court to vacate the arrests and/or convictions if the person’s participation in the offense was the direct result of having been a victim of trafficking;
  • If a court grants the motion to vacate, the court vacates the arrest and/or conviction, enters a judgment of acquittal, and expunges the record;
  • The trafficking victim’s identity is protected; no officer or employee may make public any document or image that identifies the victim; and
  • Specified procedural processes to ensure that trafficking victims can establish eligibility for this provision by providing certified criminal or immigration court proceedings or law enforcement records demonstrating that the individual was a victim of trafficking at the time they were charged with the trafficking-related offense. If this information is not available, other testimony and sworn statements can also establish eligibility as many trafficking victims will not have official documentation because of the nature of human trafficking crimes.

To read the full letter click here.

To read a factsheet about this legislation click here.

To read the full bill text click here.

Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

In the above photo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, center, joins survivors of human trafficking as well as advocates Sunday as she announces a proposal called the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016. An article about the event can be found here.