Human Trafficking

girl holding suitcaseHuman Trafficking,  under both federal and Florida law, it is defined as the transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, or obtaining of another person for transport; for the purposes of forced labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation using force, fraud and/or coercion.  

In 2012, Florida passed House Bill 99, also known as the Florida Safe Harbor Act. This legislation allows for minors to be deemed as dependent instead of delinquent as it gives law enforcement the discretion to either arrest or deliver the minor to a short term safe house, if available. In 2016, House Bill 7141 expanded the provisions of the Florida Safe Harbor Act by requiring the Department to develop or adopt a screening instrument for the identification of sexually exploited children, service planning and placement.   In addition, staff such as child protective investigators and case managers are required to have specialized training prior to working with minors that have been sexually exploited.  Lastly, it provided the minimums standards to certify a foster home or group home desiring to care for sexually exploited children.  Upon certification, these licensed settings are then identified as Safe Foster Homes or Safe Houses to serve as a placement option for sexually exploited children and young adults.

If you believe you are a victim of Human Trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, or call them at 1-888-3737-888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.