Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Montana
State Agency Responsibilities
Citation: Ann. Code § 45-5-709(3)
A child who is not subject to criminal liability or proceedings under title 41, chapter 5, is presumed to be a youth in need of care under title 41, chapter 3.
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 20-7-1316; 44-4-1504
The Office of Public Instruction is encouraged to undertake activities to educate Montanans about and prevent child sex trafficking. Activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Reviewing best practices for preventing child sex trafficking
- Providing access to educational resources for interested parents, teachers, child care providers, and other community members on how to prevent child sex trafficking, on the warning signs of child sex trafficking, and on predatory behaviors
- Coordinating educational and prevention efforts with law enforcement, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, and local organizations that work to prevent child sex trafficking
- Supporting school districts in developing the following:
- Policies on child sex trafficking awareness, prevention, response, and reporting
- Educational materials and curricula aimed at preventing child sex trafficking
There is a human trafficking education account in the State special revenue fund for the purposes of preventing and detecting human trafficking. Money in this account may be expended by the Department of Justice to raise awareness about human trafficking and educate the public and law enforcement on how to prevent and detect human trafficking in this State.
Diversion From Prosecution
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45-5-709; 45-5-710
A person is not criminally liable or subject to proceedings under title 41, chapter 5, for prostitution, promoting prostitution, or other nonviolent offenses if the person was a child at the time of the offense and committed the offense as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking.
A person who has engaged in commercial sexual activity is not criminally liable or subject to proceedings under title 41, chapter 5, for prostitution or promoting prostitution if the person was a child at the time of the offense.
A person charged with prostitution, promoting prostitution, or another nonviolent offense committed as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking may assert an affirmative defense that the person is a victim of human trafficking.
Services and Supports for Victims
Citation: Ann. Code § 44-4-1502
A child who has engaged in commercial sexual activity is eligible for a benefit or service available through the State, including compensation under title 53, chapter 9, part 1, regardless of immigration status or factors described in § 53-9-125.
As soon as practicable after a first encounter with a person who reasonably appears to be a victim of human trafficking or a child who has engaged in commercial sexual activity, law enforcement shall notify the appropriate State agency that the person may be eligible for a benefit or service under the laws of this State.
Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.