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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection & Permanency

Effective Date:



Human Trafficking



Human Trafficking




Human Trafficking



Human Trafficking Overview



This issuance establishes an overview regarding policies and procedures on the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) commitment to combating human trafficking (also known as forced labor, and sexual exploitation).


      Executive Authority Pursuant to N.J.S.A 9:3A-1 et seq


A)   CP&P's Commitment

CP&P is committed to combating human trafficking and ensuring that youth and adolescent victims receive the appropriate care, treatment, and services needed to heal and recover.


B)   Working with Community Stakeholders

Through a multi-disciplinary approach, CP&P shall work with law enforcement, health care providers, community organizations and other interested parties to support human trafficking awareness, prevention, and service programming.

CP&P shall also participate in the coordinated efforts with local, state, and federal entities.


C)   Services

CP&P shall offer services to human trafficking victims that are trauma-focused, strength-based, culturally sensitive, gender and developmentally appropriate, and informed by comprehensive evaluation that includes physical and mental health assessments. Services may include:

      permanency or temporary placements;

      medical and mental health treatment;

      reproductive and sexual health services;

      dietary and nutrition services; and

      substance use disorder treatment.

      referral to immigration services and assistance obtaining a T visa or other immigration approvals as appropriate.


D)   Permanency

CP&P shall work to ensure that human trafficking youth and adolescent victims gain permanency through reunifying them with their families or fostering new family and supportive connections.


E)   Additional Government Assistance

CP&P shall assist youth and adolescent victims of human trafficking in accessing medical and health assistance, public housing, and other federal and state assistance for which they are eligible as human trafficking victims.


F)   Training

DCF shall provide human trafficking trainings for child welfare professionals, specifically DCF staff and CP&P Field Workers, through the Office of Training and Professional Development.


G)  Child-Victim Participation

CP&P shall empower youth and adolescent victims of human trafficking to participate in decision-making in their own case planning.


H)   Reports to Law Enforcement

Within 24 hours of receiving information on or identifying a youth as a victim of human trafficking, CP&P shall ensure that reports are made to the New Jersey State Police, and other law enforcement as directed by the Division of Law or police.




Key Terms (Definitions):

Human trafficking: the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy.


Human Trafficking - Servitude: Forced labor is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their own will under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment; their freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted. Men are at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work, which globally generates 31 billion USD according to the International Labor Organization. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude, agricultural labor, sweatshop factory labor, janitorial, food service and other service industry labor, and begging.


Human Trafficking - Sexual Exploitation: Any person under the age of 18 is considered a victim of human trafficking if they are induced to commit a commercial sex act. This can include prostitution or pornography. No minor can "consent" or choose to be involved in any form of commercial sex. There is no such thing as a "juvenile prostitute" or "child prostitute."


Forced Labor: All work or service, legitimate or otherwise, which is exacted from any person under violence or the threat of violence, whether physical or mental, which prevents a person from exercising his/her freedom of movement and/or free will.


Debt Bondage: Is a creditor-debtor arrangement by which a person is forced to work off a debt, legitimate or otherwise, in which his/her movement and/or free will is controlled. When external factors, such as custom or force, eliminate the possibility of repayment by the victim and/or succeeding generations the condition becomes Bonded Labor.


Sex Trafficking: Is the recruitment and/or movement of someone within or across borders, through the abuse of power/position with the intention of sexual exploitation, commercial or otherwise.


T Visa: Is a visa created by the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to protect women, children and men who are victims of human trafficking The T visa allows victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons to remain in the United States and assist federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. T visas are issued by the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Trauma Bond: A dysfunctional attachment that occurs in the presence of danger, shame, or exploitation.


Commercial sexual exploitation of a child: Is the use of any person under the age of 18 for sexual purposes in exchange for case or in-kind favors; it can occur between a minor and a customer, the pimp/trafficker or others who profit from the trade of minors for these purposes.

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