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Study Revealed Safe Harbor Laws Increased Protections for Sex-Trafficked Youth, Identified Needs for Agency Support and Judicial Training

NCJ Number
300063
Date Published
March 2021
Agencies
NIJ
Annotation

This resource examines the Kentucky Human Trafficking Victims’ Rights Act, passed in 2013, that includes safe harbor legislation for sex-trafficked minors which mandates that state agencies must develop a coordinated plan to deliver comprehensive care and to serve and protect victims.

Abstract

Kentucky’s Human Trafficking Victims’ Rights Act, passed in 2013, includes safe harbor legislation for sex-trafficked minors that mandates state agencies must develop a coordinated plan to deliver comprehensive care and to serve and protect victims. A University of Kentucky study on the impact of its state safe harbor laws showed that justice-involved children were more likely to be screened for sex trafficking and to be offered victim services, and were less likely to be criminally charged. However, agency personnel and juvenile and family court judges interviewed for the study raised concerns about the legislation, including the added workload placed on already overwhelmed child welfare personnel.

Date Created: February 19, 2021