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New Legislation Providing Protection for Victims

Post by: Taylor Wise

My name is Taylor Wise, and I am a 3L at Regent University School of Law. As a member of the Student Staff for the Center for Global Justice, I have had the amazing opportunity to work on projects for Shared Hope all four semesters I have been on the student staff. Shared Hope International is an organization that dedicates itself to putting an end to human trafficking. Shared Hope provides grades to each State based upon how that State’s statutes and policies provides protection for victims. Additionally, Shared Hope makes recommendations on how legislation can be reformed to provide greater protections to victims.

Our work this semester has consisted of reviewing newly enacted legislation and crafting a series of bill summaries for Shared Hope aimed at providing information on how this newly enacted legislation protects human trafficking victims. Shared Hope has a specific framework they use in analyzing legislation. For example, components of this framework include criminal provisions, identification and response to victims, and prevention and training. Part of our project also involved identifying what components of Shared Hope’s framework a specific bill addressed.

I was encouraged by the number of bills I read that are providing for greater protections for survivors. One example of this is bills aimed at the prevention of human trafficking through training such as Florida’s SB 596 that requires human trafficking awareness training for employees of public lodging establishments. Other bills such as Virginia’s SB 178 focus on child sex-trafficking and provide protection by defining it as a form of child abuse.

New laws are always being enacted and previous laws being amended, so keeping up with new laws and legal trends is important in addressing human trafficking. This can provide a great look at how legislative reform can be effective because we can see new bills arising that are providing greater protections for victims. This can also have a great persuasive effect in advocating for reform of a State’s law by showing them possible trends in the law and what an effective law looks like.

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.