Senator Gardner explained that SB18-084 was originally heard in Senate Health and Human Services in February and was referred to Appropriations thereafter. He noted that he would not take public testimony on the bill due to the previous hearing.
Senator Kefalas introduced and explained SB18-084, concerning enhancing protections for minors who are victims of human trafficking. He relayed that the bill provides a more streamlined pathway for young victims of human trafficking to access needed services. He explained the amendments made to the bill in Senate Health and Human Services. Senator Kefalas further discussed immunity provisions, the stakeholders he worked with on the bill, and safe harbor laws. He emphasized that the bill is needed to protect child victims from coerced or forced prostitution.
Senator Kefalas answered questions from the committee about safe harbor laws in Colorado and other states, affirmative defense, immunity, young victim and police interactions, and diversion programs. The committee and Senator Kefalas further discussed the number of juveniles who have been prosecuted for sex trafficking as well as the role of law enforcement.
Senator Kefalas distributed and explained Amendment L. 009 (Attachment A).