Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Guam

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 9, § 26.33

Investigative, prosecutorial, and other appropriate authorities shall interview all persons arrested on charges of prostitution and take all other steps necessary to identify victims of trafficking in persons, including U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Once victims are identified, these authorities shall provide reasonable protection to victims of trafficking in persons to prevent recapture by the traffickers and their associates; secure the victim and the victim's family from threats, reprisals, or intimidation by the traffickers and their associates; and ensure the victim has an opportunity to consult with a victim's advocate or other appropriate person to develop a safety plan.

Training Requirement

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 9, §§ 26.22; 26.40

The government of Guam shall provide mandatory training for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and other relevant officials in addressing trafficking in persons. Such training shall focus on the following:

  • The new crimes and other provisions created by this article
  • Methods used in identifying U.S. citizen and foreign national victims of trafficking in persons, including preliminary interview techniques and appropriate questioning methods
  • Methods for prosecuting traffickers
  • Methods of increasing effective collaboration with nongovernmental organizations and other relevant social services organizations in the course of investigating and prosecuting a trafficking case
  • Methods for protecting the rights of victims, taking into account the need to consider human rights and special needs of victims who are women and minors, and that victims should be treated as victims rather than criminals
  • Methods for promoting the safety of victims

The government of Guam shall seek the input and participation of appropriate nongovernmental organizations and other relevant organizations in the preparation and presentation of training required by this subsection.

As used in this article, a 'human trafficking caseworker' is a person who is employed by any organization, whether financially compensated or not, for the purpose of rendering advice or assistance to victims of human trafficking, who has received specialized training in the counseling of victims of trafficking in persons, and who meets one of the following requirements:

  • The person holds a bachelor's degree or higher in counseling or a related field or has 1 year of counseling experience, at least 6 months of which is in the counseling of victims of trafficking in persons.
  • The person has at least 40 hours of training as specified in this paragraph and is supervised by an individual who qualifies as a counselor or by a psychotherapist. The training, supervised by a qualified person, shall include, but need not be limited to, the following areas:
    • History of human trafficking
    • Civil and criminal law as it relates to human trafficking
    • Societal attitudes toward human trafficking
    • Peer counseling techniques
    • Housing, public assistance, and other financial resources available to meet the financial needs of trafficking victims
    • Referral services available to trafficking victims
    • An explanation of privileged communication

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 9, § 26.03

In any prosecution of a person who is a victim of trafficking in persons, it shall be an affirmative defense that he or she was under duress or coerced into committing the offenses for which he or she is being subject to prosecution. A victim of trafficking in persons is not criminally liable for any commercial sex act or illegal sexually explicit performance committed as a direct result of, incident to, or related to being trafficked.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 9, §§ 26.38; 26.39

The government of Guam shall develop plans, in consultation with nongovernmental organizations and other elements of civil society, for the provision of appropriate services, from governmental and nongovernmental sources, for victims of trafficking in persons, whether U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, and any dependents accompanying the victims, or parents or guardians of minor victims, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Appropriate housing, taking into account the person's status as a victim of crime and including safe conditions for sleeping, food, and personal hygiene
  • Psychological counseling in a language the victim can understand
  • Medical assistance
  • Child care
  • Other material assistance, as appropriate
  • Employment, educational, language, and training opportunities
  • Legal assistance

Child victims of trafficking in persons shall not be housed in prisons or other detention facilities for accused or convicted criminals or juvenile delinquents under any circumstances.

Residence in shelters or other facilities established under this section shall be voluntary, and victims may decline to stay in shelters or other facilities. Victims in shelters or other facilities shall have the option to communicate with and receive visits from family, friends, attorneys, and advocates without restrictions or limitations.

Government service providers shall take into account the age, gender, and special needs of victims and accompanying dependent children in formulating plans to provide services to them and in delivering such services.

Services to trafficking victims who are minors shall be provided in a manner that is in the minor's best interests and appropriate to their situation. Minor trafficking victims shall be provided with appropriate services, which may include an explanation of their rights, privacy, housing, care, and age-appropriate support and rights. Special programs should be developed to accommodate minor witnesses, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Testimony of the minor may be conducted outside the court setting or by video.
  • All testimony and court proceedings shall take place with a parent, legal guardian, or foster parent present, if it is in the best interests of the minor.
  • Whenever safe and possible, minors should be reunited with family members, whether within or outside the United States.
  • Special mental and physical medical care tailored to the minor's needs shall be provided.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.