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Written by Francesca McManus – Student Staff Member – “My Work as a Student Staff Member”

My Work as a Student Staff Editor

Hello! My name is Francesca McManus and I am a 3L at Regent University School of Law and a student staff member for the Center for Global Justice.

I am particularly interested in human rights law and advocating for the rights of children and young adults. While the Center for Global Justice has a worldwide focus, my main area of interest involves ensuring that children and young adults receive sufficient victim advocacy within the United States and across all fifty states.

I have been lucky to work with Shared Hope International on several occasions while working as a student staff member for the Center.

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Shared Hope International is an organization focused on sex trafficking issues including prevention, awareness, and providing legislative support. It operates programs in India, Nepal, Jamaica, and does extensive work across the United States. Shared Hope not only brings awareness to the issues of sex trafficking for women and children. But also works with legislatures and finds legal solutions in order to bring justice to victims of sex trafficking.

Shift in Focus

They recently revamped their State Report Card Project under an advanced legislative framework to shift the focus from criminal laws to a framework which ensures that each state adopts trauma informed protections for trafficking victims. Each state is graded on a series of issues. Including criminal provisions; identification of and response to victims; continuum of care. Access to justice for trafficking survivors; tools for a victim-centered criminal justice response; and prevention and training.

In order to produce report cards for each state, the Center for Global Justice has provided research assistance and grading for each state.

This semester I surveyed each state to determine whether its laws provide child sex trafficking victims access to specialized services through a non-punitive system. When reviewing the report cards as a whole, it is clear that although most states prohibit criminalization of child sex trafficking victims, there is a lack of state law mandated trauma informed services for victims.

I hope that through the publication of Shared Hope’s report cards, states will modify laws and enact new legislation. In order to focus on the issue of continued care for victims of sex trafficking in the United States.

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.