TVPRA Passes Congress!

On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed into law the final version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which incorporates the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). Section 47 of the TVRPA provides for the establishment of Child Advocate programs throughout the country over the next four years (at present, Child Advocate services are only available in Chicago and South Texas). Congratulations and thank you to several classes of Young Center clinic students—Heather Niemetschek, Teresa Sullivan, Peter Chen, Cathy Yang, Katie Boyle, Bethany Fisher, and Brooke Anderson—who researched, drafted, and redrafted legislative language, and valiantly trekked back and forth across Capitol Hill in scorching heat to educate Senate and House aides about unaccompanied immigrant children and the Child Advocate program. There were high points—when Senator Kirk agreed to co-sponsor Senator Leahy’s legislation, and there were low points—when the bill was deemed dead because of a “kerfuffle” over funding for contraceptive and family planning services for trafficking victims. We’ve joined forces with the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago to develop a strategy to ensure the appropriation of funds so that these programs can be established. Thanks again to the many law students and everyone who gave their time to make this happen.