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.


Who do you contact if you suspect the sex trafficking of a minor?