Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Washington

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 74.14B.070; 13.32A.270

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families shall, subject to available funds, establish a system of early identification and referral to treatment of child victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse. The system shall include schools, physicians, sexual assault centers, domestic violence centers, child protective services, and foster parents. A mechanism shall be developed to identify communities that have experienced success in this area and share their expertise and methodology with other communities statewide.

Within available funding, when a youth who has been diverted under § 13.40.070 for an alleged offense of prostitution or prostitution loitering is referred to the department, the department shall connect that child with the services and treatment specified in § 74.14B.070.

Training Requirement

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 43.280.095; 18.71.080

The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy shall establish a statewide training program on Washington's human trafficking laws for criminal justice personnel. The training shall be provided where possible by an entity that has experience in developing coalitions, training, programs, and policy on human trafficking in Washington.

The entity will provide or coordinate training for law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and court personnel covering Washington's State anti-trafficking laws, the investigation of sex trafficking cases, and the adjudication of sex trafficking cases. The training shall encourage interdisciplinary coordination among criminal justice personnel; build cultural competency; and develop understanding of diverse victim populations, including children, youth, and adults.

The office shall supply the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission with information on methods of recognizing victims of human trafficking, what services are available for these victims, and where to report potential trafficking situations. The information supplied must be culturally sensitive and must include information relating to minor victims. The commission shall disseminate this information to licensed physicians by the following methods:

  • Providing the information on the commission's web site
  • Including the information in newsletters
  • Holding trainings at meetings attended by organization members
  • Any other distribution method determined by the commission

The commission shall report to the office on the method or methods it uses to distribute information under this section.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 13.40.070; 13.40.213; 13.40.219

When a case is legally sufficient to charge an alleged juvenile offender with either prostitution or prostitution loitering, and the alleged offense is the offender's first prostitution or prostitution loitering offense, the prosecutor shall divert the case.

Whenever a juvenile is placed in custody or, when not placed in custody, referred to a diversion interview, the parent or legal guardian of the juvenile shall be notified as soon as possible concerning the allegation made against the juvenile and the current status of the juvenile.

When a juvenile is alleged to have committed the offenses of prostitution or prostitution loitering, and the allegation, if proved, would not be the juvenile's first offense, a prosecutor may divert the offense if the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed has a comprehensive diversion program. A diversion agreement under this section may extend to 12 months.

In any proceeding under this chapter related to an arrest for prostitution or prostitution loitering, there is a presumption that the alleged offender meets the criteria for a certification as a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in 22 U.S.C. § 7105, and that the alleged offender is also a victim of commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Rev. Code § 13.40.213

A comprehensive diversion program provides the following services:

  • Safe and stable housing
  • Comprehensive onsite case management
  • Integrated mental health and chemical dependency services, including specialized trauma recovery services
  • Education and employment training delivered onsite
  • Referrals to offsite specialized services, as appropriate

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 7.68.370; 7.68.801; 43.63A.740

The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy is designated as the single point of contact in the State government regarding the trafficking of persons. The office will create the Washington State Clearinghouse on Human Trafficking as an information portal to share and coordinate statewide efforts to combat the trafficking of persons. The clearinghouse will include an internet web site operated by the office and will serve the following functions:

  • Coordinating information regarding all statewide task forces relating to the trafficking of persons, including, but not limited to, sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and labor trafficking
  • Publishing the findings and legislative reports of all statewide task forces related to the trafficking of persons
  • Providing a comprehensive directory of resources for victims of trafficking
  • Collecting and disseminating up-to-date information regarding the trafficking of persons, including news and legislative efforts, both State and Federal

The Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Statewide Coordinating Committee is established to address the issue of children who are commercially sexually exploited, to examine the practices of local and regional entities involved in addressing sexually exploited children, and to make recommendations on statewide laws and practices. The committee is convened by the Office of the Attorney General with the Department of Commerce assisting with agenda planning and administrative and clerical support.

The duties of the committee include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Overseeing and reviewing the implementation of the Washington State model protocol for commercially sexually exploited children at task force sites
  • Receiving reports and data from local and regional entities regarding the incidence of commercially sexually exploited children in their areas as well as data information regarding perpetrators, geographic data and location trends, and any other data deemed relevant
  • Receiving reports on local coordinated community response practices and results of the community responses
  • Reviewing recommendations from local and regional entities regarding policy and legislative changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local response practices
  • Making recommendations regarding policy and legislative changes that would improve the effectiveness of the State's response to and promote best practices for suppression of the commercial sexual exploitation of children
  • Making recommendations regarding data collection useful to understanding or addressing the problem of commercially sexually exploited children
  • Reviewing and making recommendations regarding strategic local investments or opportunities for Federal and State funding to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children

The Prostitution Prevention and Intervention Account is created in the State treasury. Expenditures from the account may be used in the following order of priority:

  • Funding for the statewide coordinating committee on sex trafficking
  • Funding for programs that provide mental health and substance abuse counseling, parenting skills training, housing relief, education, and vocational training for youth who have been diverted for a prostitution or prostitution loitering offense
  • Funding for services provided to sexually exploited children in secure and semisecure crisis residential centers with access to staff trained to meet their specific needs
  • Funding for services specified in § 74.14B.070 for sexually exploited children
  • Funding the grant program to enhance prostitution prevention and intervention services under § 43.63A.720