On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation with Senators Ron Wyden and Rob Portman, which would protect child victims of sex trafficking by ensuring reliable data is available as it relates to children in the child welfare system, the population most vulnerable to becoming victims of child sex trafficking. The legislation is called the Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act of 2013.
"Child sex trafficking is a serious problem in Ohio and in the United States, and we will continue to work aggressively to eradicate it," Brown said. "This legislation is about protecting our most vulnerable populations from the most heinous of crimes. The Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act of 2013 would give our authorities the information they need to do their jobs and protect our children."
Domestic child sex trafficking remains a serious problem in Ohio and across the country. There are an estimated 293,000 American youth at risk of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. Research suggests that the majority of trafficked youth in the U.S. has been in and out of the child welfare system, specifically foster care.
The Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act of 2013:
-Requires that each state's Foster Care and Adoption Assistance plan contains a description of the specific measures taken to protect and provide services to children who are victims of sex trafficking.
-Requires law enforcement authorities to notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when a child is missing from state care.
-Amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to require that child victims of sex trafficking are considered victims of abuse and neglect.
-Requires CAPTA state plans designed to improve child protection services to contain multiple provisions and procedures, including those requiring identification and assessment of all reports involving children known or suspected to be victims of sex trafficking.
-Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress detailing issues related to identifying and providing services for victims of labor trafficking within the child welfare system.