Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Kentucky

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State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 620.029; 529.120

In order to provide the most effective treatment for children who are victims of human trafficking, as defined in § 529.010, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall do the following:

  • Investigate a report alleging a child is a victim of human trafficking
  • Provide or ensure the provision of appropriate treatment, housing, and services consistent with the status of the child as a victim of human trafficking
  • Proceed in the case in accordance with applicable statutes governing cases involving dependency, neglect, or abuse, regardless of whether the person believed to have caused the human trafficking of the child is a parent, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision

Upon receipt from a law enforcement officer that a child in custody is a victim of human trafficking, the cabinet shall commence an investigation into child dependency, neglect, or abuse.

Training Requirement

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 15.334; 15.718

The Kentucky Law Enforcement Council shall ensure that mandatory training for all students attending a law enforcement basic training course include the characteristics and dynamics of human trafficking; State and Federal laws relating to human trafficking; the investigation of cases involving human trafficking, including, but not limited to, screening for human trafficking; and resources for assistance to the victims of human trafficking.

The attorney general shall provide initial training courses and, at least once every 2 years, continuing education courses for Commonwealth's attorneys and county attorneys and their staff concerning the appropriate response to victims of human trafficking, including, but not limited to, screening for victims of human trafficking, Federal and State legislation on human trafficking, appropriate services and referrals for victims of human trafficking, working with interpreters, and agency protocol for handling child trafficking cases.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 529.120; 630.125

Notwithstanding § 529.020 or 529.080, if it is determined after a reasonable period of custody for investigative purposes that the person suspected of prostitution or loitering for prostitution is younger than age 18, then the minor shall not be prosecuted for an offense under those sections.

A law enforcement officer who takes a minor into custody under this section shall immediately make a report to the cabinet. Pursuant to § 620.040, the officer may take the minor into protective custody. The cabinet shall commence an investigation into child dependency, neglect, or abuse pursuant to § 620.029.

If reasonable cause exists to believe the child is a victim of human trafficking, the child shall not be charged with or adjudicated guilty of a status offense related to conduct arising from the human trafficking of the child, unless it is determined at a later time that the child was not a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 620.029

The cabinet shall consult with agencies serving victims of human trafficking to promulgate administrative regulations for the treatment of children who are reported to be victims of human trafficking as dependent, neglected, or abused children, including providing for appropriate screening, assessment, treatment, services, temporary and long-term placement of these children, training of staff, the designation of specific staff, and collaboration with service providers and law enforcement.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.