July Newsletter
Upcoming Events:

July 23rd: OC Human Trafficking Task Force
 
July 30th: LA County Pregnant & Parenting Task Force

July 7th: Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force







ISSUE NO. 4/ JUNE 2014 
July Advocacy Update
Friday, July 25th, 2014

 

As congress prepares to leave for its Summer recess, and the state legislature is in the midst of enjoying their return to their home districts, we're pleased to present an update on a variety of new and old anti-human trafficking initiatives, and a brief on new ways to address status offenses. 

 

2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Now Available
This is the 14th year that the federal government has produced a comprehensive look at the status of every country in the world and its fight to eradicate human trafficking of all kinds. Crittenton, who works with domestic and international minor victims of labor and sex trafficking, is pleased that federal policy makers are continuing to put pressure on countries that are failing to decrease vulnerability of their little ones. Additionally, we are thrilled to see more common use of the word "trauma" which is key to unlocking services that will help victims heal. Crittenton has consistently advocated that trauma is the damaging thread that is wound throughout the lives of children who have been exploited: trauma from their own families and communities rendered our clients especially vulnerable to traffickers who would only perpetuate that trauma and further harm them. By including trauma-centric responses to trafficking, we can ensure better outcomes for victims and we can ensure that we treat the entire history of a victim instead of just the experience of being exploited.
 
Read the 2014 TIP Report and find out how the U.S. fares in comparison to other countries on the issue of trafficking. 
New Federal Bill Proposals About Human Trafficking

Following the House's adoption of a series of anti-trafficking measures that focused largely on international trafficking, a handful of legislators have introduced additional legislation targeting domestic youth who have been trafficked, or who are vulnerable. Thus far, the bills are all progressing and receiving considerable support. The bills include:

  • S. 2564 (Wicker)-- Enhances penalties for internet vendors whose sites are used to exploit youth, and establishes a federal grant system to fund specialized diversion courts (similar to the Hawaii Girls Court model) throughout the country. These courts will provide extended supervision and assistance to minors who are identified as victims of trafficking who are not also violent offenders.
  • H.R. 5044 End Modern Day Slavery Act (Peters)-- Directs federal agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to address trafficking that spans from victim assistance, to prosecution of offenders and collaboration with stakeholders and other agencies.
  • H.R. 4980 Preventing Sex Trafficking & Strengthening Families Act (Camp) Requires states to identify, document and determine best practices for serving youth who are trafficking victims, or at risk of being trafficked. Directs state child welfare departments to promote "normalcy" for youth and specifies requirements for reporting of children who AWOL.
As the varying levels of government seek out solutions to the issue of human trafficking, we encourage our fellow advocates to engage in the discussion. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the issues that make our kids vulnerable for traffickers and there's no easy answer in helping them heal. Every child will come with different needs and different wounds, and it's our job to make sure we have those tools and that compassion ready to help them. 


Model Policy Laws On Status Offenses 

Status offenses, or behaviors that are only deemed illegal because of the age of the offender (truancy, curfew, etc.), have been making headlines as states and municipalities look at new and innovative ways to work with these youth. For decades, states were dealing with status offenders very similarly to how they dealt with other crimes-- leading the Coalition for Juvenile Justice to review and set forth policy guidelines on how best to work with this population of minors. 

 

Their recent publication of a Model Policy Guide recommends that states should clarify and set forth clear expectations and definitions when dealing with status offenses. Further,  there are policy guides to how best to interact with these youth and what sorts of diversion programs may be appropriate. 

 

Crittenton is pleased that so many policy leaders are taking steps to look at ways to decrease recidivism for youth and ultimately keep them from entering the criminal justice system as adults. Studies show that kids who are system-involved have a higher likelihood of being incarcerated later in life, and we look forward to advocating for ways to help these troubled youth instead of harming their chances at a brighter future.

 

 

Want to Get Involved? 

Crittenton's advocacy only works when our partners and friends come alongside us to be the voice for vulnerable children. The good news is there are plenty of ways to help out! For example:

 

Join the Junior Advocates Council (JAC)! JAC is comprised of young professionals, high school and college students who are passionate about making a difference. We have monthly conference calls (dark for summer), letter writing campaigns and have assisted students who outreach and educate their peers. Not only is it an incredible way to learn how to help those in need, but it's not a bad resume builder either. Tell policy@crittentonsocal.org you're ready to join us when we ramp back up in September.

 

Golf or dine with the Crittenton team on Monday, September 15th! Our big fundraiser is right around the corner and we invite you to participate. Your participation goes directly to the over 1000 families Crittenton is serving in Southern California at any time. Click here for the golf tournament info, and here for the Winner Dinner. See you there!

 

 

Psssst... Don't forget to forward this on to your fellow advocates.