Human Trafficking

Senate Bill 1311 was signed by Governor Wolf on October 28, 2016 and is now known as Act 115 of 2016. Act 115 is immediately effective. The updates are but not limited to: 

  • Allowing for the release of information in confidential reports to law enforcement when investigating cases of severe forms of trafficking in person or sex trafficking
  • Adding a category of child abuse to include: engaging a child in severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000
  • Adding a category of perpetrator to include: an individual 18 years of age or older who engages a child in severe forms of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Definition of Human Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining a child for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Under federal law, sex trafficking (such as prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, etc.) does not require there be force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is under 18. 
Children & Youth who are at risk for human trafficking:
  • Youth in the foster care system
  • Youth who identify as LGBTQ
  • Youth who are homeless or runaway
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Youth with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders
  • Youth with a history of sexual abuse
  • Youth with a history of being involved in the child welfare system
  • Youth with family dysfunction

Human Trafficking Identification/Warning Signs: 

  • A youth that has been verified to be under 18 and is in any way involved in the commercial sex industry, or has a record of prior arrest for prostitution or related charges
  • Has an explicitly sexual online profile
  • Excessive frequenting of internet chat rooms or classified sites
  • Depicts elements of sexual exploitation in drawing, poetry, or other modes of creative expression
  • Frequent or multiple sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancies
  • Lying about or not being aware of their true age
  • Having no knowledge of personal data, such as but not limited to: age, name, and/or date of birth
  • Having no identification
  • Wearing sexually provocative clothing
  • Wearing new clothes of any style, getting hair and/or nails done with no financial means
  • Secrecy about whereabouts
  • Having late nights or unusual hours
  • Having a tattoo that she/she is reluctant to explain
  • Being in a controlling or dominating relationship
  • Not having control of own finances
  • Exhibit hyper-vigilance or paranoid behaviors
  • Express interest in or in relationships with adults or much older men/women