Recommendations aim to improve states’ response to child sex trafficking

The nation’s governors have received more than a hundred recommendations to help improve their states’ response to child sex trafficking thanks to the work of a national advisory committee.

The National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States released the 127 recommendations last week.

Among the committee’s 21 members is Marissa Castellanos, director of Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Bakhita Empowerment Initiative.

Castellanos said the recommendations are best practices for “preventing and responding to the sex trafficking of children and youth, including practical examples and resources aimed at empowering every state to ‘raise the bar’ in local efforts to address sex trafficking,” according to a news release from Catholic Charities.

“The Committee Report is a guide, a tool, to help us do this work better,” she said. “This is a collective work. It takes all of us working together.”

The recommendations cover 12 topic areas, including:

  • Consistent screening to increase identification of trafficked children and youth.
  • Guidance to improve tailored services.
  • Improved prevention efforts.
  •  Expanded research to increase evidence-based approaches and improve outcomes.

The recommendations from the NAC were also delivered to Congress. In the next few months, each state will be asked to complete a self-assessment based on the recommendations.

The full report can be read at here.

The Bakhita Empowerment Initiative is a program of Catholic Charities of Louisville that provides direct services to survivors of human trafficking statewide, with offices in Louisville and Lexington.

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