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Safe Harbor Legislation Goes To Governor’s Desk

/ WDAC

HARRISBURG – Senate Bill 554, known as the “Safe Harbor Bill,” has passed this week in the state Legislature. It prevents child victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation from being criminally prosecuted for crimes they have been forced or coerced to commit. The bill will require law enforcement to report any encounter with a minor who has been subject to sexual exploitation to the Department of Human Services. The Department will develop a state-wide protocol to provide victims with safe, long-term housing, education, life-skills training, and counseling. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise, second only to the drug trade. Between 100,000 and 300,000 children are commercially exploited in the U.S. each year. Over 273 human trafficking cases have been reported in Pennsylvania since 2016. The legislation now goes to the governor’s desk.

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