Skip to main content


Local advocacy for human trafficking survivors

The Center for Global Justice® has dedicated significant efforts to support anti-human trafficking work abroad; yet, the vision of global justice begins with local advocacy. With the launch of the Center for Global Justice® Clinic, resources and expertise can be applied domestically and make a meaningful difference in local community.

Human trafficking victims are often coerced by their traffickers to engage in criminal activities. Thus, many victims have criminal records, and when they emerge from being trafficked, these records create huge obstacles to obtaining employment, custody, housing, and other resources. But Virginia law now allows sex trafficking victims to vacate (or expunge) certain charges from their record.

The Center created the Clinic in 2023 to offer free legal representation to human trafficking survivors who desperately need this relief. By partnering with “Survivor Service Providers,” the Clinic is able to identify and represent victims who are eligible for relief under the statute. Click here to download a packet with more information about the process and case flow.

The 2021 Virginia Vacatur Law

During the 2021 General Assembly Session, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law to enact a new procedure for removing criminal convictions related to being a sex trafficking victim—thanks in part to the efforts of the Center for Global Justice® Directors.

The law states that “upon a petition of a person who was convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying offense [prostitution or certain related offenses], the circuit court of the county or city in which the conviction or adjudication of delinquency was entered shall have the authority to issue writs of vacatur under this chapter.” See Virginia Code § 19.2-327.16.

The Clinic is partnering with “Survivor Service Providers” to help victims of sex trafficking get relief under this statute. The packet linked above provides more information on this process.

Survey for Survivors Service Providers

As we proceed with representation under the current Virginia statute, we are also researching and evaluating the law’s efficacy. This includes researching how the law affects trafficking survivors. If you work with survivors of trafficking, please consider responding to this short survey to assist the Clinic in its research efforts.

Any resulting written publication will be made available to our partners. Thank you so much for partnering with us to provide record relief for sex-trafficking survivors.

Make a Referral

Please fill out this Referral Form if you believe your client qualifies for Vacatur under Virginia law.

Contact Us

Do you think you might be a victim of sex trafficking? If you have prostitution convictions on your Virginia criminal record, you may qualify for record relief under the Virginia vacatur law. Please call 757-352-4660 or email with your contact information, and we will follow up with you.

In Compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Virginia State Bar Association The materials on this website were prepared by the Center for Global Justice. They are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to constitute, nor do they constitute, legal advice. Neither use of this website, nor an initial call or communication to a clinic attorney is intended to create or creates an attorney-client relationship. The only way to become a CGJ Clinic client is through mutual agreement. Do not act on any information on this website without first seeking professional guidance. This website contains information about past legal matters handled by the Clinic. These matters, and the results of these matters, depended on a variety of factors particular to each individual situation. The descriptions on the website do not guarantee or predict any similar or particular result in the future. This website is not intended to be an advertisement or a direct solicitation for business.