There are many avenues through which minor victims of trafficking enter the juvenile justice system. Due to the power and control exercised by their traffickers, victims are often forced or coerced to commit crimes they otherwise would not commit. Many victims of trafficking enter the criminal justice system for offenses committed as a direct result of their trafficking.
It is vital that any efforts to address child sex trafficking in our communities must include not only survivor input but also provide opportunities for survivors to lead this work. Survivor leaders are people who hold leadership positions within their field and/or provide guidance to other survivors. Organizations and individuals must be thoughtful about why, when, and how they engage survivor leaders in the work.
Although initially embraced as an emergency measure, virtual proceedings continue to be utilized even as jurisdictions increasingly lift restrictions on in-person hearings. Before proceeding with virtual hearings, judges should be mindful of access to technology, constitutional implications, and the limitations of remote proceedings specific to youth.