HARRISBURG – Child victims of human trafficking in Pennsylvania will be protected under legislation signed into law by the governor. Senate Bill 554 prevents child victims from being criminally prosecuted for crimes they have been forced or coerced to commit. It will require law enforcement to report any encounter with a minor who has been subject to sexual exploitation to the Department of Human Services, which will develop a state-wide protocol to provide victims with safe, long-term housing, education, life-skills training, and counseling. Bill sponsor, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf of Bucks & Montgomery Counties says it keeps the child victims from being treated as criminals. 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 United States each year. Over 273 human trafficking cases have been reported in Pennsylvania since 2016.