This year, the Richmond Justice Initiative is joining advocacy groups, prosecutors, and law enforcement in the Kids Are Not For Sale in Virginia Coalition, advocating for a sex trafficking standalone bill, to be introduced by Delegate Hugo (40th District) and Senator Obenshain (26th District). This bill will establish the criminal offense of sex trafficking in Virginia. A wide coalition advocating for this important piece of legislation demonstrates the commitment Virginians have to ending sex trafficking in their state.
The Kids Are Not for Sale Coalition conducted a social media lobby day on January 21 to coincide with a press conference at the Virginia legislature. Over 250 people participated on social media, asking their legislators to support HB 1964 / SB 1188 and letting them know that our kids are not for sale in Virginia.
On Friday, March 27 the Governor signed HB 1964 /SB 1188, Virginia’s first sex trafficking statute into law!
What this legislation does:
- Defines and establishes sex trafficking as its own crime in Virginia law
- Eliminates the requirement to prove force, fraud, or coercion when the victim is a child
- Makes it a crime to recruit someone into trafficking, conduct which is currently not a crime in Virginia law
- Assists law enforcement in properly identifying human trafficking victims and enables prosecutors to properly convict traffickers
- Raises the penalties of other laws used to prosecute human trafficking in order to make all human trafficking laws consistent with one another
To read more about HB 1964/ SB1188, please click here.
2015 Human Trafficking Legislation:
Below is a list of all human trafficking legislation which passed the General Assembly in 2015
- HB 1964 / SB 1188 (Delegate Hugo – R/Senator Obenshain – R): Stand alone sex trafficking statute
- HB 1946 (Delegate McClellan – D): Expands and provides the Attorney General’s office with more tools for human trafficking investigations
- HB 2040 (Delegate Rob Bell – R): Increases penalties of other child sex trafficking laws to make all child sex trafficking laws consistent with one another
Be sure to read our special Advocacy blog post by our Advocacy Director about the Power of Prayer during this 2015 Legislative Session!