In 2012, Maryland law changed to reflect that human trafficking and child pornography are considered child abuse.
Why was it important to specifically identify trafficking in the child abuse law?
- Allows for a protective response vs. a punitive response
- Changes the perception from the child from criminal to victim of a crime & allows a trafficker to be defined as a “caretaker” in order for the child to receive the assistance of DHR
- Prohibits a trafficking victim from being housed in a correctional or detention facility, if there are no other delinquent charges or involvement with the DJS system
- Allows a child victim of trafficking to be considered a CINA (Child In Need of Assistance)
- May be taken into custody under the Child Protective Services and receive shelter care
- Changes the Family Code Law
Who are Mandatory Reporters in MD?
Maryland Family Law § 5-704 - Persons Required to Report
- Health Practitioners
- Educators or Human Service Workers
- Police Officers
Maryland Family Law § 5-705
- Any other person who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect must report.