(Vancouver, WA, Wednesday, November 20, 2019) – Shared Hope International will soon release this year’s “The Protected Innocence Challenge” report, which analyzes and identifies gaps in state child sex trafficking laws across the country. Each state receives an annual report card that provides a letter grade and a blueprint for legislative action, to ensure minors are protected from the dangers of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the way laws are written in many states allow traffickers, pimps and buyers to escape justice while survivors, many of whom are minors, are denied justice.

The Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework outlines and analyzes the fundamental laws that establish a comprehensive response to domestic minor sex trafficking. It covers 41 legal components for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its inception in 2011, significant legislative changes have been made with 48 states raising their grades in that time. There is still much work to be done. For example, there are 21 states with laws that allow minors to be charged with prostitution, even if they were forced into it by sex traffickers.

The Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework provides a consistent measure of state progress, but must be dynamic to account for promising practices that are informing and shaping system responses to juvenile sex trafficking victims. To ignore these developments would be unhelpful at best and harmful at worst, and would undermine the ultimate goal of research in action.

Shared Hope strives to prevent the conditions that foster sex trafficking, restore victims of sex slavery and bring justice to vulnerable women and children. The organization engages in diverse activities – such as education and training, research and policy initiatives – that confront sex trafficking in communities throughout America.

To learn more about Shared Hope’s impact on the epidemic of domestic minor sex trafficking, please visit https://sharedhope.org/about-us/our-story/.

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