Office of Children and Family Services

Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation in NYS

OCFS is committed to supporting child-serving professionals in identifying and providing services to survivors of human trafficking and preventing human trafficking in New York State.

When New York State enacted the Safe Harbour for Exploited Children Act, it became the first state in the nation to recognize that minors who are commercially sexually exploited are victims - not perpetrators - of crimes. This and other relevant legislation recognize what child-serving professionals OCFS have long known: children and youth who have been exploited and trafficked have endured significant, compounding traumas and need supportive, holistic services to aid them in their many challenges.

OCFS's many efforts to address human trafficking over the last decade include raising awareness; providing training and technical assistance; the development and implementation of the Safe Harbour: NY program; and guiding the implementation of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183).

The anti-trafficking work being done at OCFS is grounded in the following values and principles:

  • Protecting and providing services to survivors of human trafficking is part of OCFS's mission to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of New York's children, families, and communities.
  • Youth survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking deserve comprehensive, specialized services through the child-welfare system.
  • Because commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking can affect anyone, programs and policies are most responsive when they are inclusive of all youth, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender identify, sexual orientation, or other experience.

To learn more about how OCFS works to prevent human trafficking and aid survivors, click on the links on the left.

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