Generally, human trafficking is the unlawful use of force, fraud, or coercion to cause a person to engage in labor, services, or commercial sex acts. Human trafficking is prohibited under both state and federal law. Provisions in state law prohibiting trafficking and protecting trafficking victims include:
The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) must administer funds for healing, support, and transition (HST) services for adults who have been forced or coerced to perform certain commercial sex acts. The HST services funded by the program include advocacy, safety planning, housing, substance use disorder treatment, medical and behavioral health services, legal advocacy, translation and interpretation, education, job training, employment support, outreach, and emergency financial assistance.
The OCVA must issue a request for proposals (RFP) for HST service providers by September 1, 2023. The OCVA must include stakeholders in the development of the RFP, including diverse community representatives with lived experience transitioning out of sex trafficking and the Secretary of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).
Adults may self-refer for HST services or be referred by law enforcement service providers, the DCYF, or other state or local organizations. The OCVA must prioritize funding for HST service providers located in underserved areas of the state. At least one provider must be located west of the Cascade Mountains, and at least one provider must be located east of the Cascade Mountains. An HST service provider funded by the OCVA must:
The OCVA must also provide funding to one statewide organization led by adults with lived experience of sex trafficking to provide coordinating support and to convene quarterly statewide coordination meetings for HST service providers and related service providers. The OCVA must collect certain data, including nonidentifiable demographic client data (including whether clients are current or former foster youth), data on trafficking and trauma verification, data on the services provided to clients, and quarterly data on outcomes. Beginning December 1, 2025, the OCVA must submit an annual report to the Legislature on the data the OCVA is required to collect on the program and recommendations for modification or expansion of HST services. Additionally, the OCVA must submit an annual report to the DCYF that includes data on current and former foster youth provided HST services. The DCYF must use these data for coordination with its liaisons for commercially sexually exploited children.