Family and Dependency Court
Children and Youth in Tribal Communities
Human Trafficking Resources
Child and youth victims of trafficking have unique needs and experiences, both in terms of the dynamics of their exploitation and their potential interaction with the criminal justice system as a victim-defendant.
Unlike most other child victims and witnesses, trafficking survivors may have different roles within the justice system, including as a defendant in a criminal case. It is vital that they understand their rights as a victim, who may also be a defendant, especially due to the confusion and self-blame that may accompany being a defendant.
Knowing their rights will help empower them so they can make their voices heard and advocate for themselves.
Additionally, most child trafficking survivors have experienced chronic, severe victimization, often by multiple perpetrators, but do not identify as crime victims and are closely allied with their exploiters. To be effective for these survivors, any materials developed for them must reflect the language they use and accurately reflect their unique experiences.
Based on the input of national experts, these materials are intended to teach child and youth victims of trafficking between the ages of 12−18 about—
- how the justice system works,
- what their rights are,
- the roles of the different practitioners they might meet, and
- how they can cope with the difficult feelings they might have.
Each graphic novel includes excerpts from individuals with lived experience, who offer support and information to the reader who might find themselves in a similar situation.
These graphic novels are available in English, African French, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Sergio's Story: A Journey Through (and Beyond) the Legal System
This story describes the experience of a young boy who was a victim of labor trafficking and is part of a federal case.
Zoe's Story: A Journey Through (and Beyond) the Legal System
This story shares the experiences of a young girl who was sex trafficked and presents in court as a defendant.
Jamie's Story: A Journey Through (and Beyond) the Legal System
This story follows a young individual who identifies as nonbinary and serves as a victim witness in a sex trafficking case.
What's Going On? Your Rights and Who You'll Meet
This companion piece provides information for children and youth about the various people they might meet in a legal setting, the rights a victim or witness has in different courts, how trafficking is defined in the United States, and the laws and services that might be helpful.