Post written by Elizabeth Gilbert – “Expanding Protections for Child Sex Trafficking Victims”
I am a 1L at Regent University School of Law, and this is my first semester working with the Center for Global Justice.
I am passionate about immigration law and issues affecting children’s rights, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute time to the Center for Global Justice to protect human rights in the United States and internationally.
Shared Hope International
Shared Hope International began in 1998, and their mission is to end sex trafficking and restore victims, which they do in the U.S. and abroad. The organization’s work is conducted from a Christian worldview which highlights the inherent worth of all humans because we were all made in the image of God.
National State Law Surveys
This semester my work with Shared Hope International has primarily consisted of updating State Law Surveys, which provide a summary of the laws in each state related to a specific area of law that affects human trafficking prosecutions and victim aids. While updating these state law surveys, I’ve come to realize how much room for growth exists in our laws regulating and protecting children from sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Most states have made progress in recent years but there is still so much that could be done to ensure that every child can grow up safely and without being sexually victimized.
Because of this, Shared Hope International shifted the framework for the Report Cards in 2021, to focus more on victim protections than prior years. This shift highlighted the gaps in state law where further changes could be made to protect and serve victims of sex trafficking, and I am hopeful that the State Law Surveys and State Report Cards draw the attention of legislators and advocates across the country, so that they can draft and propose new legislation to better protect children for future generations.
Do you want to get involved?
If so, Shared Hope provides a website with State Report Cards where you can find summarized information about your state’s laws on child sex trafficking, available here: https://reportcards.sharedhope.org/. Take some time to look through the information available and then write to your state government officials to express your desire for change and improvement. Advocate for change in your community, and make sure your elected officials’ attentions are drawn to these important issues. Because raising children takes a village and protecting them does too.
Disclaimer: 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.