Since 2011, Shared Hope International has been grading state laws related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children under the Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework, which establishes the basic policy principles required to comprehensively address child sex trafficking under six key areas of law:
- Criminalization of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
- Criminal Provisions Addressing Demand
- Criminal Provisions for Traffickers
- Criminal Provisions for Facilitators
- Protective Provisions for the Child Victim
- Criminal Justice Tools for Investigation and Prosecution
During this time, states have closed gaps in critical areas, including enacting laws that specifically criminalize child sex trafficking, ensuring buyers of sex with children are treated as serious offenders, and increasingly recognizing the need for comprehensive, trauma-informed services. In fact, when Shared Hope first began grading each state, the national average was 59.1%; by 2018, it was 82.9%.
Yet, even as Shared Hope celebrates these achievements, there is much work to be done. To support the innovative work of those in the field and to drive the next wave of smart and sustainable policy change, Shared Hope is working towards the release of a new legislative framework in 2020 that will address some of the more nuanced and challenging issues related to child sex trafficking.
Since its inception, Shared Hope has been committed to doing research that leads to action. In keeping with this tradition, the revised framework will be informed, in part, by information obtained through a nationwide survey.
As a stakeholder in the fight against child sex trafficking, we hope you will participate in this 10–15 minute survey to provide valuable insight into the challenges and successes of implementing laws that combat this crime and address the needs of survivors. This research will be critical for developing a revised framework that connects Shared Hope’s policy work with emerging and established promising practices.
The survey will close on September 16, 2019. Thank you in advance for your participation in this process. We look forward to receiving your response!