Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Connecticut
State Agency Responsibilities
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-106f
A 'children's advocacy center' is an entity that provides a child-focused, trauma-informed, facility-based program that fosters collaboration among members of a multidisciplinary team for the purpose of interviewing or meeting with children and children's parents, guardians, or other caregivers in order to obtain information and provide such information to personnel charged with making decisions regarding the investigation and prosecution of allegations of child abuse or neglect or trafficking of children and the safety, treatment, and provision of services to alleged victims of child abuse or neglect or trafficking of children.
The Commissioner of Children and Families and the appropriate State's attorney may establish multidisciplinary teams for the following purposes:
- Reviewing particular cases or particular types of cases in each judicial district, selected cases of child abuse or neglect, or trafficking of children
- Advancing and coordinating the prompt investigation of suspected cases of child abuse or neglect and the trauma experienced by alleged victims of such abuse or neglect or trafficking
- Providing for the treatment of abused, neglected, or trafficked children and the protection of such children and their families
Each multidisciplinary team shall consist of at least one representative of each of the following:
- The State's attorney of the judicial district of the multidisciplinary team
- The Commissioner of Children and Families
- The heads of the local or State law enforcement agencies
- A health-care professional with substantial experience in the diagnosis and treatment of abused or neglected children
- A member, where appropriate, of a youth services bureau
- A mental health professional with substantial experience in the treatment of abused or neglected children
- A forensic interviewer
- A victim advocate
- Any other appropriate individual with expertise in the welfare of children that the members of the multidisciplinary team deem necessary
All criminal investigative work of multidisciplinary teams shall be undertaken by members of the teams who are law enforcement officers and all child protection investigative work of such multidisciplinary teams shall be undertaken by members of the teams who represent the Department of Children and Families, provided such representatives may coordinate investigative work with such multidisciplinary teams and rely upon information generated by such multidisciplinary teams in the course of such department's investigations.
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-106f(b); 17a-106g; 17a-106h
The Commissioner of Children and Families may, within available appropriations, provide training to law enforcement officials regarding the trafficking of minor children. The training shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Awareness and compliance with the laws and protocols concerning trafficking of minor children
- Identification of, access to, and provision of services for minor children who are victims of trafficking
- Any other services the department deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this section and § 17a-106a
The Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall consult with State and national hotel and lodging associations to recommend an educational training program and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of suspected human trafficking. The training program shall include a video presentation, developed and approved by the commissioners, that offers guidance to employees of hotels, motels, inns, and similar lodgings on the (1) recognition of potential victims of human trafficking and (2) activities commonly associated with human trafficking.
The Commissioner of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, shall develop an initial educational training program and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of suspected human trafficking.
The training program shall include a video presentation, developed and approved by the commissioners, that offers awareness of human trafficking issues and guidance to law enforcement personnel; judges of the Superior Court; prosecutors; public defenders and other attorneys who represent criminal defendants; hospital emergency room staff and urgent care facility staff who have contact with patients; and persons employed by a local or regional board of education or a constituent unit, as defined in § 10a-1, who have contact with students.
Diversion From Prosecution
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 53a-82
A person age 18 or older is guilty of prostitution when such person engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.
In any prosecution for an offense under this section, it shall be an affirmative defense that the actor was a victim of conduct by another person that constitutes a violation of § 53a-192a (trafficking in persons).
Services and Supports for Victims
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-106a(e); 17a-106f(a)
Children's advocacy centers may assist multidisciplinary teams by doing the following:
- Providing safe, child and family-friendly settings that maintain the privacy of children and their families
- Establishing policies and procedures that are culturally competent
- Aiding in the development of written protocols for an interdisciplinary and coordinated approach to such investigations
- Providing forensic interviews of children that (a) are conducted by a trained forensic interviewer; (b) are recorded; (c) solicit information in an unbiased, fact-finding manner that is culturally sensitive and appropriate for each child's developmental stage; and (d) may be observed by members of the multidisciplinary teams involved in such investigations whenever possible
- Providing specialized medical evaluation and treatment, mental health services and support, and advocacy services to children at such centers or through coordination with and referral to other appropriate providers of such services
- Providing regular case review for the purpose of aiding in decision-making, problem solving, systems coordination, and information sharing concerning the status of cases and the services required by children and their families
- Providing a tracking system for monitoring the progress and outcomes of cases
The Commissioner of Children and Families may do the following:
- Provide child welfare services for any minor child residing in the State who is identified by the Department of Children and Families as a victim of trafficking
- Provide appropriate services to a minor child residing in the State who the department reasonably believes may be a victim of trafficking in order to safeguard the welfare of the minor child
For purposes of this section, the term 'minor child' means any person younger than age 18.
Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.