State Sen. LaTonya Johnson
Press Release

New Law Grants CHIPS Protections to Child Trafficking Victims

The law aligns Wisconsin with the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

By - Apr 25th, 2016 09:57 am

MADISON – Today, Representative LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) joined anti-trafficking advocates at the Capitol for the signing of Senate Bill 618 (SB 618):

“Child victims of human sex trafficking are just that—victims—and should not be treated like criminals for actions that are beyond their control. Since being elected to the State Assembly in 2012, I have pushed to require Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) investigations for all child trafficking victims, so that these children can receive the treatment and services that they need without being put through the additional trauma of being charged with a crime. SB 618, which passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support, is a big step forward for Wisconsin and makes helping sexually exploited youth to heal and rebuild their lives a priority for our child welfare agencies.”

“Today is also a victory for a victim-centered approach to child sexual exploitation, and I applaud the hundreds of anti-trafficking advocates from across the state who have built support for this legislation in Madison as well as congressional champions in Washington, D.C., like Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee), whose outspoken support for the federal Justice for Victims in Trafficking Act paved the way for the enactment of these changes at the state level.”

SB 618 was authored by Representative Johnson, along with Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), Representative Jill Billings (D-LaCrosse), and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls). The law aligns Wisconsin with the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act by requiring child victims of sex trafficking to be treated as victims of child abuse and provided with protection and services under the child welfare system.

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