Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Arizona

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-466; Pol. & Proc. Man. Ch. 2, § 3

A child and family advocacy center is a private, nonprofit incorporated agency or a governmental entity that maintains a multidisciplinary case review team that meets on a regular basis and consists of members who are appropriate for serving a victim of a suspected offense. Membership of the team may include the following:

  • A representative of the department
  • A representative of the county attorney
  • A mental health service provider
  • A representative of law enforcement
  • A victim advocate
  • A forensic medical professional
  • A forensic interviewer

The advocacy center must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain and provide services at a neutral facility that is focused on victims and that allow the following:
    • Evidence-based forensic interviews by a trained forensic interviewer of victims or witnesses of one or more suspected offenses
    • Interaction with a victim as investigative or treatment needs or victim services require
  • Provide medical evaluations or referrals for medical evaluations by a health-care provider who has specific training in child or adult sexual abuse
  • Provide mental health therapy or referrals for mental health therapy by professionals who have training in and who provide trauma-focused and evidence-supported mental health treatment
  • Have a written commitment from any agency that is participating in the multidisciplinary approach to handling one or more suspected offenses
  • Comply with the relevant safety assessment and investigation protocols developed pursuant to § 8-817

For the purposes of this section, the term 'suspected offense' includes juvenile sex trafficking.

In policy: The Department of Child Safety shall coordinate investigations with law enforcement according to protocols established with the appropriate municipal or county law enforcement agency when one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • The report alleges or the investigation indicates that the child is or may be the victim of criminal conduct.
  • The report alleges or the investigation indicates that the child is a victim of sexual abuse.
  • The report alleges or the investigation indicates that the child is a victim of commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking.
  • Law enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation of the alleged child abuse and neglect or an investigation is anticipated.

If, during the course of an investigation, the department determines that a criminal offense may have been committed or a new allegation of abuse or neglect not previously reported is present, the department shall immediately provide information to the appropriate law enforcement agency and the child abuse hotline.

As soon as possible, but in no more than 24 hours, any child who is identified as a sex trafficking victim shall be reported to law enforcement for entry into the National Crime Information Center database.

Training Requirement

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-466; 8-471

A child and family advocacy center must facilitate evidence-based training for various disciplines in the community that respond to reports of one or more suspected offenses.

The department, in coordination with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, shall provide child welfare investigators with training. The training shall be, at a minimum, in the following areas:

  • First responder training on responding to reports of child abuse
  • Forensic interviewing and processes
  • Child physical and sexual abuse investigation
  • The initial screening and safety assessment protocols established pursuant to § 8-817
  • Relevant law enforcement procedures, including the collection and preservation of evidence
  • A child's constitutional rights as a victim of a crime
  • Impact and intervention practices related to adverse childhood experiences, culturally and linguistically appropriate service delivery, domestic violence, family engagement, communication with special populations, and trauma-informed responses
  • Any other training as directed by the director

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3214

It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for prostitution that the defendant committed the acts constituting prostitution as a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. Ch. 3, § 3

The department shall arrange, provide, and coordinate prevention, intervention, and treatment for abused and neglected children. For children who have been identified as victims of sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation, the department shall elicit the comments and recommendations of the service team members and seek to reach consensus on the specific services that have been implemented to address this issue.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 41-114

The Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund is established consisting of fines collected pursuant to violations of §§ 9-500.10 and 32-4260. The director of the Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families shall administer the fund for the purposes prescribed in this section.

The Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families shall establish program priorities for the fund. The office shall spend monies in the fund to provide assistance to victims of sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, and trafficking of persons for forced labor or services.