Thursday, December 8, 2011

Half of States Received Failing Grade in Protection Against Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Report Cards

The Protected Innocence Initiative is a comprehensive strategy to promote zero tolerance for child sex trafficking. As part of the initiative Shared Hope International released 51 separate report cards, one for each state and the District of Colombia. The report cards set a national standard of protection against domestic minor sex trafficking. The hope is that policy makers at the state level will use the information to make changes that will create a safer environment for children. Shared Hope International granted 26 states the grade of "F" when it comes to meeting the standards set by the Protected Innocence Initiative.

"The Protected Innocence Legislative Framework outlines six areas of law critical to protecting children and responding to domestic minor sex trafficking. Each state’s existing laws will be measured against standards that create a safe environment for children. A formula which measures the level of protection afforded by state laws regarding sex trafficking of children will be applied to grade the state legislative framework; it does not evaluate enforcement or implementation.

The Protected Innocence Legislative Framework categories include:

1. Criminalization of domestic minor sex trafficking
2. Criminal provisions for demand (buyers)
3. Criminal provisions for traffickers (pimps)
4. Criminal provisions for facilitators (hotels, transports, websites etc.)
5. Protective provisions for the child victims
6. Criminal justice tools for investigation and prosecutions"

The report Protected Innocence Challenge: State Report Cards on the Legal Framework of Protection for the Nation's Children provides detailed charts, graphs and information of domestic minor sex trafficking, as well as a report card for each state.

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