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Written by Francesca McManus

Hello! My name is Francesca McManus and I am a 3L at Regent University School of Law.

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Washington State Attorney General’s Regional Services Division. I worked primarily in dependency law.

My job was to assist the Assistant Attorney Generals in representing state social workers.

Often in cases where children are removed from their parent’s care and now reside in foster care.

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Prior Experience

Unfortunately many of the children we remove from care in Washington were already in sex trafficking. In these cases, it is the job of social workers and the Attorney General’s office to ensure that sex trafficking victims receive specialized services and protection.

While working with the Center for Global Justice this semester I have had the opportunity to put my experience with sex trafficking victims to work. Providing research assistance for Shared Hope International.

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Shared Hope International

Above all, Shared Hope International is an organization focused on child sex trafficking issues. Including prevention, awareness, and providing legislative support.

This semester, our team was tasked to assist in research regarding the legal issues surrounding child sex trafficking.

As a result, my specific job was to survey each state. In short, regarding whether its laws provide child sex trafficking victims access to specialized services. And, through a non-punitive system.

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Lack of Specialized Services

Subsequently, after concluding my research I found it shocking how few states require specialized services for child sex trafficking victims. Specifically, only 18 states mandate access to services through a non-punitive system. Similarly, 23 states authorize access to services, and only 5 states mandate access to services for transition age youth.

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Working to Protect Children

Additionally, only 8 states mandate access to services for child labor trafficking victims.

Working for the Protection of Children

It is clear that the work Shared Hope is doing is essential to safeguard victims of child sex trafficking.

Above all, they do this by bringing awareness to the issue of working for the protection of children.

And by demanding that state legislatures modify law. In order to to increase protections and services for minors.

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This post was written by a Center for Global Justice 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.