hotline; 6) safe harbor - protecting trafficked minors; 7) lower burden
of proof for sex trafficking of minors; 8) victim assistance; 9) access
to civil damages; and 10) vacating convictions for sex trafficking
victims.228 This Article will address nine of the categories that are
relevant to the domestic commercial sex trafficking of children. 229 In
2012, New York earned a top tier rating from the Polaris Project. 230
States should utilize these categories to enact legislation and
policy that will provide all of the necessary elements to adequately
combat domestic minor sex trafficking. These factors offer an outline
for states to follow when formulating domestic minor sex trafficking
law and policy.
The Polaris Project’s first category is “a statute that
criminalizes sex trafficking.” 231 As outlined above during the
discussion of the Shared Hope International policy issues, New York
has three statutes that define “human trafficking victims,” define the
crime of sex trafficking, and provide immunity from accomplice
liability for victims in sex trafficking cases. 232
In addition to a law that criminalizes sex trafficking, the
Polaris Project requires statutory provisions for the protection of
trafficked minors, also known as “Safe Harbor” acts. 233 As discussed
earlier, New York enacted the Safe Harbor Act in 2008. This Act
defines “sexually exploited child,” “safe house,” and “
community-based programs,” 234 and establishes services to be provided to
sexually exploited children. 235 The statute states, in relevant part, that
each local social service district must ensure that “a short-term safe
house or another short-term safe placement such as an approved
228 Id. at 2.
229 Category 2, labor trafficking, will not be discussed since it is not within the
scope of this Article.
230 HOW DOES YOUR STATE RATE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS IN 2012?, supra
231 See id. at 3.
232 N. Y. SOC. SERV. LAW § 483-aa (McKinney 2013); N. Y. PENAL LAW § 230.34
(McKinney 2013); N. Y. PENAL LAW § 230.36 (McKinney 2013).
233 See HOW DOES YOUR STATE RATE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS IN 2012?,
supra note 20, at 3.
234 N. Y. SOC. SERV. LAW § 447-a (McKinney 2013).
235 N. Y. SOC. SERV. LAW § 447-b (McKinney 2013).