Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Missouri

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 566.223

As soon as possible after a first encounter with a person who reasonably appears to a law enforcement agency to be a victim of trafficking as defined in § 566.200, that agency or office shall notify the Department of Social Services and, where applicable, juvenile justice authorities that the person may be a victim of trafficking, in order that such agencies may determine whether the person may be eligible for State or Federal services, programs, or assistance.

Training Requirement

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 566.223

The Department of Public Safety is authorized to establish procedures for identifying victims of trafficking. The department may establish training programs as well as standard protocols for appropriate agencies to educate officials and employees on State statutes and Federal laws regulating human trafficking and with the identification and assistance of victims of human trafficking. Such agencies may include, but are not limited to, State employees and contractors, including the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services, juvenile courts, State law enforcement agencies, health-care professionals, and runaway and homeless youth shelter administrators.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 566.223

It is an affirmative defense for the offense of prostitution under § 567.020 that the defendant engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he or she was coerced to do so by the use of, or threatened use of, unlawful physical force upon himself or herself or a third person, which force or threatened force a person of reasonable firmness in his or her situation would have been unable to resist.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 566.223

The Department of Social Services may coordinate with relevant State, Federal, and local agencies to evaluate appropriate services for victims of trafficking. State agencies may implement programs and enter into contracts with nonprofit agencies, domestic and sexual violence shelters, and other nongovernment organizations to provide services to confirmed victims of trafficking, insofar as funds are available for that purpose. Such services may include, but are not limited to, case management, emergency temporary housing, health care, mental health counseling, alcohol and drug addiction screening and treatment, language interpretation and translation services, English-language instruction, job training, and placement assistance.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

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