Protecting Our Children: Delaware And Other States Take Action On Behalf of Human Trafficking Victims

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In 2014, the Delaware legislature signed into law S. B 197, a bill to fight human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. Forced labor and human trafficking is a billion dollar industry.

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The International Labor Organization estimates 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally.

Human trafficking includes bonded labor, forced labor and includes the trafficking of children. S.B. 197 uses provisions of the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act.

Other states have also stepped up their efforts to address issues related to human trafficking:

In March 2014, the State of Maryland established a Maryland Human Trafficking Policy Advisor position to develop and implement policies, training, and data collection procedures that build Maryland’s capacity to combat trafficking and serve survivors.

The Maryland legislature also passed three bills on behalf of victims of human trafficking including protections from prosecution for youths forced into prostitution and free community college for victims of trafficking.

Pennsylvania’s Act 105, which became law in September 2014, added new definitions of sex trafficking to the Criminal Code and established expanded legal protections for victims of trafficking.

Act 105 also establishes a civil cause of action so that victims may seek compensatory and punitive damages along with other appropriate relief against their traffickers.

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The Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act in New Jersey makes it possible for victims to have unjust convictions removed from their records. The Act also provides witness protection for victims and makes it easier for law enforcement to prosecute the traffickers.

These protections, on behalf of our most vulnerable children, as well as others passed at the state and federal level, are helping to restore the rights and freedoms that have been stolen from them.

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