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Post by: Rebekah Bunch

Serving on the student staff for the Center for Global Justice this year has been such a rewarding experience. Originally, I wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in human rights, but now that I have had some exposure, I can’t wait to learn more through the Center, my assigned projects, and any other organizations I can work with. I’m excited to see where my passion in these issues will take me.

This semester I have had the honor of working on a project for Shared Hope International. Shared Hope’s goal is the bring an end to trafficking by preventing, restoring, and brining justice. We are helping bring justice by researching state child sex trafficking laws to see if these laws extend the same protections to child labor trafficking victims.

I have been researching state laws to see if child labor trafficking victims are afforded the same protections such as (i) a child sex trafficking-specific hearsay exception that apply to non-testimonial evidence to reduce reliance on victim testimony and (ii) allowing child sex trafficking victims to testify via closed circuit television (CCTV) regardless of the prosecuted offense.

I have found that many states do not afford a hearsay exception. This means that child victims have to attend court proceedings, risking a possible viewing of their abuser(s), in order to testify about their experience. Thankfully, I have found that many states allow for testimony via closed circuit television or some other exception that lowers the risk of face-to-face interactions between a child victim and their abuser(s).

I hope that our states will continue to move forward with these protections and provide them for all child victims. I am looking forward to finishing this project and the learning experience of many more.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.