Action Taken at State Level on National Position
POSITION: (Adopted 2014)
The League of Women Voters opposes all forms of domestic and international human trafficking of adults and children, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. We consider human trafficking to be a form of modern day slavery and believe that every measure should be taken and every effort should be made through legislation and changes in public policy to prevent human trafficking. Prosecution and penalization of traffickers and abusers should be established, and existing laws should be strictly enforced. Extensive essential services for victims should be applied where needed. Education and awareness programs on human trafficking should be established in our communities and in our schools.
In 2014, supported by League, a significant bill passed to classify human trafficking of a minor as a sex offense against a child, increase penalties for traffickers, and create the Human Trafficking Council of Colorado to recommend future legislation and coordinate state and local resources.
In 2015 LWVCO supported a bill that passed that gives minor and adult victims of human trafficking an affirmative defense to a charge of prostitution made on or after July 1, 2015. The legislation also established that, if charged or convicted of the crime of prostitution before July 1, 2015, minor victims can petition to have their records expunged and adult victims can petition to have their records sealed.
LWVCO also supported successful legislation that directs the Human Trafficking Council to make recommendations to the House and Senate Judiciary committees as to whether the General Assembly should enact legislation concerning the prosecution or granting of immunity to a child victim of commercial sexual exploitation, the creation of other legal protections for child victims, and any changes to current statute necessary to implement those protections. The Council is also directed to make recommendations regarding the assessment, placement and treatment of minor victims.