Human Trafficking Legislation

During the 2015-2016 legislative session, numerous bills were introduced in support of California's fight against human trafficking. Many of the bills that were enacted focus on protecting and assisting human trafficking survivors as they recover from their trafficking experience.

Senate Bill 84 (2015) – State government – Enacted June 24, 2015

Created the Human Trafficking Victims Assistance Fund and requires that the money in the fund be used by the Office of Emergency Services for the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations providing services to human trafficking victims, and for reimbursement of costs incurred by the office in distributing these grants.


AB 418 (Chiu, 2015)– Tenancy: termination: victims of violent crime – Enacted October 4, 2015

Extended an existing law that authorizes a tenant who is, or lives with, a victim of human trafficking to terminate the tenancy, and reduces the time limit for the tenant to give the landlord notice of intent to vacate from 30 days to 14 days.


Assembly Bill 15 (Holden, 2015) – Limitation of actions: human rights abuses – Enacted October 4, 2015

Requires a civil action for human trafficking to be commenced with seven years of the date that the trafficking victim was freed or, if the victim was a minor when the trafficking occurred, within ten years after the victim attains the age of majority.


Assembly Bill 1684 (Stone, 2016) – Civil actions: human trafficking – Enacted July 22, 2016

Authorized the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to receive, investigate, conciliate, mediate, and prosecute complaints alleging, and bring civil actions for, a victim of human trafficking.


Assembly Bill 2221 (Garcia, 2016) – Criminal procedure; human trafficking witnesses – Enacted September 26, 2016

Requires, in a case involving a charge of human trafficking, that a minor who is a victim of the human trafficking be provided with assistance from the local county Victim Witness Assistance Center if the minor so desires that assistance.


Assembly Bill 1761 (Weber, 2016) – Human trafficking: victims: affirmative defense – Enacted September 26, 2016

Created an affirmative defense against a charge of a crime that the person was coerced to commit the offense as a direct result of being a human trafficking victim at the time of the offense and had reasonable fear of harm.


Senate Bill 823 (Block, 2016) – Criminal procedure: human trafficking – Enacted September 26, 2016

Established a separate petition process for a person who has been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated a ward of the juvenile court for, committing a nonviolent offense, as defined, while he or she was a victim of human trafficking.


Assembly Bill 2498 (Bonta, 2016) – Human trafficking – Enacted September 26, 2016

Authorizes the withholding of names and images of a human trafficking victim, and the victim's family, from disclosure by a local or state police agency pursuant to the California Public Records Act until the trafficking investigation or any subsequent prosecution is complete.


Assembly Bill 1276 (Santiago, 2016) – Child Witnesses human trafficking – Enacted September 26, 2016

Authorizes, under specified conditions, a minor 15 years of age or younger to testify by contemporaneous examination and cross-examination in another place and out of the presence of the judge, jury, defendant or defendants, and attorneys if the testimony will involve the recitation of the facts of an alleged offense of human trafficking.


Senate Bill 1322 (Mitchell, 2016) – Commercial sex acts: minors - Enacted September 26, 2016

Eliminated the application of prostitution and loitering for prostitution charges to minors and authorizes law enforcement officers to take temporary custody of juvenile human trafficking victims under specified circumstances pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 305, subdivision (a).


Senate Bill 1064 (Hancock, 2016) – Sexually exploited minors – Enacted September 26, 2016

Indefinitely extended a pilot program in Alameda County to develop a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary model to address the needs and effective treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors.


Senate Bill 448 (Hueso, 2016) – Sex offenders: internet identifiers – Enacted September 28, 2016

Requires a person convicted of a felony for which sex offender registration, and to whom one or more specified circumstances apply – e.g., the person used the Internet to identify a victim of the crime and further its commission – is required to register his or her Internet identifiers and send written notice to the law enforcement agency with which he or she is registered within 30 days of changing any identifier.


Assembly Bill 2027 (Quirk, 2016) – Victims of crime: nonimmigrant status – Enacted September 28. 2016

Requires that, upon request, an official from a state or local entity certify "victim cooperation" on the Form I-914 Supplement B declaration, when the requester was a victim of human trafficking and has been cooperative, is being cooperative, or is likely to be cooperative regarding the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.


Assembly Bill 1678 (Santiago, 2016) – Provision of incident reports to victims – Enacted September 30, 2016

Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to provide, without a fee, one copy of all human trafficking incident reports to the trafficking victim, or the victim's representative, upon request.

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