The Modern Slavery Research Project informs legislative efforts on the issue of human trafficking, encouraging legislators to provide protections for workers in Louisiana and across the United States.

In the spring of 2014, we worked with both the state legislature and the state district attorneys to promote the "Make Escape Possible" campaign, which recommends effective, survivor-centered human trafficking legislation. The House Bill 1025 includes many of the Modern Slavery Research Project's recommendations, including the following:

  • Vacate Convictions: allows people to vacate convictions for some crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, in cases of sex trafficking.
  • Affirmative Defense: extends the affirmative defense for all victims of trafficking, including adults and labor trafficking victims, not just CSEC victims.

  • A Dedicated Human Trafficking Court: allows districts to appoint a separate court to adjudicate more sensitively cases of trafficking.

  • Debt Bondage: adds debt bondage to the definition of trafficking and explains clearly what that is.

  • Coercion: adds nuance to the definition of coercion.

  • Specialized Services Instead of Criminalization: indicates that anyone who is found to be a victim of trafficking should be directed toward specialized services (where available).

  • Training: recommends HT training for police officers and funds it.

  • Anonymity: provides anonymity/confidentiality of the identity of all people who are victims of human trafficking, not just for CSEC.

  • Record-Keeping: increases record keeping requirements, mandating record-keeping regarding services provided to HT victims (without names) and reporting to DCFS and the legislature.

  • Adult Referrals: requires DCFS to refer all HT cases for people over 18 to the appropriate available services.