Safe Harbor Legislation

Safe Harbor Advocacy Day: Advocates Promote Safe Harbor Bill in Harrisburg

On January 25, 2017, advocates from across the state convened in Harrisburg to encourage lawmakers to pass safe harbor legislation this session. If passed, the Safe Harbor Bill would protect child-victims of commercial sexual exploitation by making minors under the age of 18 immune from prosecution for prostitution and prostitution-related crimes, providing support services for minor-victims of commercial sexual exploitation, training police officers to identify and help child-victims, and establishing a fund for victim services and awareness. In short, the legislation would ensure that prostituted child-victims would get support and needed services, not jail time.

Article taken from The Villanova Law Institute to Address Comercial Sexual Exploitation
Continue Reading:  https://cseinstitute.org/safe-harbor-advocacy-day-advocates-promote-safe-harbor-bill-harrisburg/

Please call your state senator and state representative with the talking points below. You can find contact information for your senator or representative here: http:/www.legis.state.pa.us/legis/home/findyourlegislator/

Talking Points:
      1. I’m calling to ask for your support for Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth, expected to be re-introduced this session.
      2. The legislature passed a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in 2014, but we need to do more to protect child victims of sex trafficking.
      3. Right now, Pennsylvania children who are sexually exploited by traffickers are re-victimized in the juvenile justice system when they are arrested and prosecuted for prostitution and crimes they may have committed while being sexually exploited.
      4. This bill would affirm that there is no such than as a “child prostitute” by granting immunity to child trafficking victims for the crime of prostitution and limited related offenses.
      5. In addition to ensuring that we protect (and not prosecute) child victims of sex trafficking, Safe Harbor would also achieve three goals:
        • a.  First, the bill empowers child welfare agencies to develop specialized victim services, such as housing, ental health, and substance dependency treatment.
        • b.  Second, the law creates a platform to provide law enforcement taining to identify sexually exploited children and to coordinate appropriate victims’services.
        • c.  Third, the bill establishes a fund created through convited traffickers’ fines to enhance victim services and increase public awareness about human trafficking.

        6. You should also be aware that if Pennsylvania doesn’t enact Safe Harbor legislation, we will not be eligible for financial assistance pursuant to the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

For more information, contact BCAT at www.bcatpa.org  or Deirdre@novabucks.org . You can also join the Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Workgroup at endhumantraffickingpa@gmail.com.

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