Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Minnesota

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State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.212, Subd. 13

The local social services agency shall do the following with regards to protecting missing and children and youth at risk of sex trafficking:

  • Expeditiously locate any child missing from foster care
  • Report immediately, but no later than 24 hours, after receiving information on a missing or abducted child to the local law enforcement agency for entry into the National Crime Information Center database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Not discharge a child from foster care or close the social services case until diligent efforts have been exhausted to locate the child and the court terminates the agency's jurisdiction
  • Determine the primary factors that contributed to the child's running away or otherwise being absent from care and, to the extent possible and appropriate, respond to those factors in current and subsequent placements
  • Determine what the child experienced while absent from care, including screening the child to determine if the child is a possible sex trafficking victim
  • Report immediately, but no later than 24 hours, to the local law enforcement agency any reasonable cause to believe a child is, or is at risk of being, a sex trafficking victim
  • Determine appropriate services with respect to any child for whom the local social services agency has responsibility for placement, care, or supervision when the agency has reasonable cause to believe the child is, or is at risk of being, a sex trafficking victim

Training Requirement

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 145.4716, Subd. 2; 157.177

The director of child sex trafficking prevention is responsible for developing and providing comprehensive training on sexual exploitation of youth for social services professionals, medical professionals, public health workers, and criminal justice professionals.

Every person, firm, or corporation that operates a hotel or motel in Minnesota shall ensure that each employee who works on site, including, but not limited to, any owner, operator, or manager, receive training on sex trafficking prevention. In addition to the required training, the operator of each hotel and motel shall conduct an ongoing awareness campaign for employees that address the components described below.

Training must include, at a minimum, instruction on the following:

  • What sex trafficking is in order to raise awareness of it
  • How to recognize potential victims of sex trafficking
  • How to identify activities commonly associated with sex trafficking
  • Effective responses to trafficking situations, including, but not limited to, how to report suspected sex trafficking to proper law enforcement officials

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260B.007, Subd. 6(c)

The term 'delinquent child' does not include a child alleged to have engaged in conduct that would, if committed by an adult, violate any Federal, State, or local law relating to being hired, offering to be hired, or agreeing to be hired by another individual to engage in sexual penetration or sexual conduct.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 626.558; 299A.795

A county shall establish a multidisciplinary child protection team that may include, but not be limited to, the director of the local welfare agency or designees; the county attorney or designees; the county sheriff or designees; representatives of health, education, mental health, or other appropriate human services or community-based agencies; and parent groups. As used in this section, a 'community-based agency' may include, but is not limited to, schools, social services agencies, family services, mental health collaboratives, children's advocacy centers, early childhood and family education programs, Head Start, or other agencies serving children and families.

A multidisciplinary child protection team may provide public and professional education; develop resources for prevention, intervention, and treatment; and provide case consultation to the local welfare agency or other interested community-based agencies.

A multidisciplinary child protection team may assist the local welfare agency, local law enforcement agency, or an appropriate private organization in developing a program of outreach services for sexually exploited youth, including homeless, runaway, and truant youth who are at risk of sexual exploitation. These services may include counseling, medical care, short-term shelter, alternative living arrangements, and drop-in centers. A juvenile's receipt of intervention services under this subdivision may not be conditioned upon the juvenile providing any evidence or testimony.

For purposes of this section, the term 'children's advocacy center' means an organization, using a multidisciplinary team approach, whose primary purpose is to provide children who have been the victims of abuse and their nonoffending family members with the following:

  • Support and advocacy
  • Specialized medical evaluation
  • Trauma-focused mental health services
  • Forensic interviews

Children's advocacy centers provide multidisciplinary case review and the tracking and monitoring of case progress.

The commissioner of the Department of Public Safety may review the existing services and facilities to meet trafficking victims' needs and recommend a plan that would coordinate the services, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Medical and mental health services
  • Housing
  • Education and job training
  • English as a second language
  • Interpreting services
  • Legal and immigration services
  • Victim compensation

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 145.4716

The commissioner of the Department of Health shall establish a position for a director of child sex trafficking prevention. The director of child sex trafficking prevention is responsible for the following:

  • Developing and providing comprehensive training on sexual exploitation of youth for social services professionals, medical professionals, public health workers, and criminal justice professionals
  • Collecting, organizing, maintaining, and disseminating information on sexual exploitation and services across the State, including maintaining a list of resources on the Department of Health website
  • Monitoring and applying for Federal funding for anti-trafficking efforts that may benefit victims in the State
  • Managing grant programs established under §§ 145.4716 to 145.4718; 609.3241(c)(3); and 609.5315,subdivision 5c(3)
  • Managing the request for proposals for grants for comprehensive services, including trauma-informed, culturally specific services
  • Identifying best practices in serving sexually exploited youth
  • Providing oversight of and technical support to regional navigators pursuant to § 145.4717
  • Conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the statewide program for safe harbor of sexually exploited youth
  • Developing a policy consistent with the requirements of chapter 13 for sharing data related to sexually exploited youth among regional navigators and community-based advocates

Youth age 24 or younger shall be eligible for all services, support, and programs provided under this section and § 145.4717, and all shelter, housing beds, and services provided by the commissioner of human services to sexually exploited youth and youth at risk of sexual exploitation.