In response to a 2017 Minnesota legislature initiative, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has released a new strategic plan for broadening the state’s successful “Safe Harbor” response to sex trafficking. The plan seeks to offer lawmakers a framework for how to improve Minnesota’s laws related to adults who are victims of sex trafficking.
The current Minnesota Safe Harbor Law was originally passed in 2011. It provides the foundation for Minnesota’s response to exploitation and commercial sex trafficking of youth. The Safe Harbor Program raises awareness, understanding and identification of the commercial sexual exploitation of youth. The law removed prostitution charges for youth under 18 and created a statewide system for helping sexually exploited youth by providing housing and services through age 24. This change reflected the reality that sex trafficked youth are victims.
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