Minnesota Increases Safe Harbor Resources to Combat Child Sex Trafficking

Minnesota recently approved a substantial increase in state Safe Harbor resources to implement the “No Wrong Door Model,” a coordinated, comprehensive service model to combat child sex trafficking across the state and protect vulnerable youth. Funding for emergency shelter and housing increased by $500,000 to $1.5 million for the years 2014 and 2015, significantly expanding access to safe housing for trafficked girls. Minnesota also approved $1 million in first-time funding for comprehensive health and psychological services for sex trafficked and sexually exploited youth. In total, law enforcement and the Minnesota Departments of Health and Human Services received $3.5 million to implment Minnesota's 2011 Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Law over the next two fiscal years.

The Minnesota Legislature authorized the new resources in a supplemental appropriations bill approved on May 16, 2014 and signed by Governor Mark Dayton on May 20, 2014. The 2011 Safe Harbor Law paved the way for a victim-centered approach to child sex trafficking and sexually exploited youth. The Advocates has been actively involved in the legislatively mandated consultation process, including releasing a report in 2013 that examines the 2011 Safe Harbor Law against international standards. 

 

Compiled from:  Minnesota Session Laws, 88th Legislature, Chapter 312 (2014); Parrott, Andrea, Funds needed to implement Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law, Southwest Journal (March 20, 2014).