June 26, 2009

Gillibrand Announces Key Senatwe Panel Approves $200,000 To Help Stop Child Trafficking in New York City

Federal Dollars Will Give Covenant House Needed Resources to Locate NYC Kids Being Trafficked, Help Kids At Risk of Trafficking, Exploitation

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $200,000 for New York City's Covenant House in the FY10 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill to expand outreach efforts to target areas where isolated, unaccompanied youth are at risk or may be victims of trafficked, and help get more kids off the street and into safe environments. Senator Gillibrand aggressively lobbied members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year's spending bill.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our kids and communities," Senator Gillibrand said. "This federal investment will help give the Covenant House the resources it needs to rescue New York City kids being trafficked or exploited, or in high-risk situations. I pledge to always be a voice for our young people, and work to make sure they are safe and have every opportunity to succeed."

Covenant House is non-profit community organization that provides shelter and other services to homeless and runaway youth. The Covenant House Stop Child Trafficking Project will use the $200,000 federal investment to expand outreach efforts to target areas where isolated, unaccompanied youth are at risk or may be victims of trafficking - including migrant farm communities and areas with high prostitution and gang activity - to help get more kids off the street and into safe environments.

The Covenant House will also expand its 24-hour "youth crisis" hotline to locate and help more homeless or abandoned  youth across the state, as well as expand the "youth crisis" hotline staff to increase efforts to find and help kids who are being trafficked or at risk of being trafficked, and offer counsel and resources to keep them safe. 

Late yesterday, the Appropriations Bill for Commerce, Justice and Science passed the full committee. The legislation will head to the floor for a full vote before the Senate. The bill will then proceed to the House-Senate Conference Committee, before final passage in both chambers, and sent to the President to become law.