SB 166: Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking

 

Bill Status

SB 166 did not get a hearing within the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code and is dead for this Session.  However, the language within SB 166 was amended into HB 1218 within the Senate Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.  The Committee Report is available here.  HB 1218 passed both houses and was signed by the Governor.  

  • HB 1218 was signed by the Governor.

Bill History


 

 

Executive Summary

Vacating convictions of trafficked persons. Provides that a child who was: (1) the victim of human trafficking; and (2) adjudicated a delinquent child for an act performed while a victim of human trafficking; is entitled to have the adjudication vacated if certain conditions are met. Provides that a person who was: (1) the victim of human trafficking (as an adult); and (2) was convicted of a nonviolent offense committed while the person was being trafficked; is entitled to have the person's conviction vacated if certain conditions are met.

 

Analysis

SB 166 addresses the issue of delinquent children who are delinquent because they are the victims of human trafficking.   Victims of human trafficking are frequently lured by false promises of a lucrative job, stability, education, or a loving relationship.

Traffickers control and manipulate these individuals by leveraging the victims’ lack of familiarity with surroundings, laws and rights, language fluency, and cultural understanding.

Victims face many challenges in accessing help. Their traffickers may confiscate their identification documents and money. They may not speak English. They may not know where they are, because they have been moved frequently. They are often not allowed to communicate with family or friends. And they may have trouble trusting others, due to their traffickers’ manipulation and control tactics.

Even after the victims become adults and get out from under their traffickers control they may have a tarnished record due to the activities they were forced to participate in by their traffickers.  SB 166 helps these victims vacate certain aspects of their permanent record while under the control of their traffickers if appropriate conditions are met.

 

Conclusion

Human Trafficking is a significant and growing problem.  Children who are the victims of human trafficking should not have their permanent record tarnished because of the actions of their traffickers.  IFI supports efforts to strengthen Hoosier families through supporting public policies that make Indiana a more child-centric state.  Helping the victims of human trafficking is a step in that direction.

IFI supports SB 166.