HR 2601: The National Human Trafficking Hotline Enhancement Act

November 9, 2023

HR 2601: The National Human Trafficking Hotline Enhancement Act


This bill was introduced last week in the House Judiciary committee, drawing a quickly organized group of survivors who were also attending the nearby JuST Conference to communicate their disapproval of the bill. 


The National Human Trafficking Hotline Enhancement Act would force the hotline to disclose information on request by law enforcement including any information that is characterized as a “third party tip.” 


While reporting to law enforcement can be a vital part of a survivor’s journey, it should NEVER be coerced. This Act would turn the hotline to a tip line for law enforcement regardless of survivor consent. This Act would take away survivor choice and take away a vital resource for survivors and service providers who depend on the hotline, especially in areas where resources and advocates are limited and funding is absent. 


I was also in DC that day for the JuST Conference. I sat at a table discussing the bill with a friend of mine and other survivors who had just returned from the Gallery. One survivor stated emphatically: “I will never call the hotline again.” 


Other advocates and national organizations have weighed in, such as the  Freedom Network, and the Human Trafficking Legal Center. Read here the National Survivor Network’s sign on letter. You can also watch the bill introduced here.


The Fraternal Order of Police shared their stance on the bill, which I find very enlightening because they get what’s at stake:


Recently, Polaris has altered course and has decided, without consulting their law enforcement partners, to only share self-reported information with State and Local law enforcement if they have the explicit consent of the person calling the Hotline. The Hotline was established so potential victims and witnesses could provide law enforcement with information to stop these crimes and help victims. The Hotline seems to be changing its mission from serving as a tipline to prevent crimes and help victims to now just focusing on connecting survivors with resources and services. This decision is crippling the ability of law enforcement to address human trafficking operations.


“Focusing on connecting survivors with resources and services” sounds like pretty good work to me.


Courtney Dunkerton, Human Trafficking Program Coordinator, NCCASA