What Is Safe Harbor?
Non criminalization recognizes that child and youth sex trafficking victims should not be penalized for a crime that was committed against them and should not be involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system as a result. Both non-criminalization and past Safe Harbor laws focus on eliminating criminal liability for child survivors, but still lack an important element for a just response….
Current Safe Harbor laws are designed to reduce the criminalization of child and youth sex trafficking victims but some Safe Harbor laws may still direct some children to the juvenile justice system, adding to their trauma and creating more barriers to healing.
The Future of Safe Harbor
Ensuring victims of child and youth sex trafficking are not involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system AND receive trauma-informed care. Appropriate identification and access to services are vital to creating a just response for victims of child and youth sex trafficking.