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NACo > Legislation & Policy > Washington Watch > Posts > ​LA County and Rep. Poe Hold Press Conference on Sex Trafficking; House Introduces Legislation
May 02
​LA County and Rep. Poe Hold Press Conference on Sex Trafficking; House Introduces Legislation

On April 29, Supervisor Don Knabe, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) held a press conference on human sex trafficking at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Human sex trafficking has become a major issue for counties across the nation. According to NACo’s recent survey on sex trafficking, 48 percent of large counties with populations greater than 250,000 consider sex trafficking to be a major issue in their county.

Rep. Poe, along with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), have introduced the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (H.R. 3530) last November. This bill, which currently has 100 co-sponsors, would create a victim-centered child human trafficking program in the U.S. Department of Justice.  State, county and city governments would be eligible to apply for the block grants through this program, which would be funded by fines imposed on individuals convicted of human trafficking, sexual abuse and related crimes. The grants could be used for a variety of functions, including:

  • ​Specialized training for state, county and city  government agencies such as law enforcement, first responders, juvenile justice personnel and child welfare and health care officials
  • Establishing or enhancing dedicated anti-trafficking law enforcement units
  • Dedicated anti-trafficking prosecution units
  • Establishing child human trafficking victim safety assistance and relocation programs
  • Collaborative efforts among child welfare agencies, law enforcement, housing agencies and organizations serving trafficking victims
  • Assisting in the development of state and local laws to prohibit, investigate and prosecute acts of human trafficking; and
  • Implementing and providing education on safe harbor laws aimed at preventing the criminalization and prosecution of child sex trafficking victims for prostitution offenses

NACo has been involved in discussions on human trafficking issues and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the 2013 NACo Annual Conference. NACo has also adopted a policy resolution in support of safe harbor laws aimed at protecting victims of child sex trafficking.

Contact: Landis Rush at arush@naco.org or 202.942.4236

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