Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Wyoming
State Agency Responsibilities
Citation: DFS Pol. Man. § 2.9
Policy has been developed for the protection of children and youth at risk of human and sex trafficking and for identifying, documenting, and determining appropriate services for such children or youth, including those children who the State has reasonable cause to believe are victims or are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking.
This policy applies to any child or youth over whom the State agency has responsibility for placement, care, or supervision of the Department of Family Services (DFS), which includes the following:
- Any child or youth who is placed in DFS custody
- Any child or youth who is being supervised by DFS
For any child or youth who comes into the placement, care, or supervision of DFS, the caseworker shall complete an initial screening to determine if he or she is at risk of becoming a human or sex trafficking victim or is a human or sex trafficking victim. If the child or youth is identified as a victim, the caseworker shall immediately and in no case later than 24 hours notify local law enforcement and the county or district attorney.
Citation: Wyo. Stat. Tit. 6, Ch. 2, Art. 7 Note (2013 Wy. ALS 91)
Laws 2013, ch. 91, § 3, directs the following: The Division of Victim Services shall continue to provide training regarding provisions of this act to be used for presentation to law enforcement agencies, the law enforcement academy, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and others involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The training may include the following:
- State and Federal laws on human trafficking
- Methods used to identify U.S. citizen and foreign national victims of human trafficking
- Methods of prosecuting human traffickers
- Methods of protecting the rights of victims of human trafficking, including collaboration with nongovernmental and other social service agencies in the course of investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases
Diversion From Prosecution
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 6-2-708
A victim of human trafficking is not criminally liable for any commercial sex act or other criminal acts committed as a direct result of or incident to being a victim of human trafficking in violation of §§ 6-2-702 through 6-2-707.
A victim of human trafficking who is a minor shall be deemed a child in need of supervision in accordance with the Children in Need of Supervision Act or a neglected child in accordance with the Child Protection Act.
Services and Supports for Victims
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 6-2-709; DFS Pol. Man. § 2.9
As soon as possible after the initial encounter with a person who reasonably appears to a law enforcement agency, district or county and prosecuting attorneys' office to be a victim of human trafficking, the agency or office shall do the following:
- Notify the victim services division within the office of the attorney general that the person may be eligible for services under this article
- Make a preliminary assessment of whether the victim or possible victim of human trafficking appears to meet the criteria for certification as a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (22 U.S.C. § 7105) or appears to be otherwise eligible for any Federal, State, or local benefits and services
If it is determined that the victim appears to meet such criteria, the agency or office shall report the finding to the victim and shall refer the victim to available services, including legal service providers. If the possible victim is a minor or is a vulnerable adult, the agency or office also shall notify the Department of Family Services.
Victims of human trafficking shall be informed of the rights enumerated in this section, the victim's right to informed consent, and the victim's rights as a victim of crime. The victim also shall be informed of available housing, educational, medical, legal, and advocacy services.
In policy: A child or youth who is identified as high risk of being a victim shall be referred to appropriate mental health or education services. A child or youth who has been referred to services shall be reevaluated for services every 6 months if he or she is in the placement, care, or supervision of DFS. The child or youth also may be offered a medical examination, if appropriate.
Any child or youth who has been identified as a sex trafficking victim may receive a medical examination and a complete forensic interview or interview by a person with knowledge of sex trafficking victims. Law enforcement shall be notified immediately and in no case later than 24 hours after identification.
Any child or youth who is identified as a sex trafficking victim shall be referred to appropriate mental health or education services and shall be reevaluated for services every 3 months if he or she is in the placement, care, or supervision of DFS.
Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.