The Foundation actively searches for worthwhile research and is developing additional projects and goals.
Child Sex Trafficking
The NAWL Foundation has also supported the development of legal models for the rescue of child victims of sex trafficking, by funding a project to develop protocols of coordination among law enforcement agencies, child protective services and other service providers. This project uses the Illinois’ Predator Accountability Act on behalf of Chicago’s most vulnerable children and women. The Predator Accountability Act (PAA) gives civil relief to victims of trafficking against their perpetrators. To date, this statute is untested LAS has pulled together a city wide collaboration which includes numerous social service agencies, other legal aid providers, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, Legal Aid Society (LAS) Board members, Lexis Nexis and major law firms in Chicago. These agencies are identifying survivors who benefit from pursuing justice under this statute and also provide services to help survivors heal emotionally and physically. LAS’ coordinates the effort, participates in screening cases and connects survivors to law firms that have been trained in working with victims of sex trafficking and have the capacity and resources to pursue a lawsuit, on a pro bono basis, under the PAA.
This Initiative provides representation to two groups of survivors: (1) minors who are victims of sexual trafficking and, under the “Illinois Safe Children Act,” are deemed not to be capable of consenting to participation in prostitution and (2) persons (not minors) where facts strongly support that they are victims of trafficking (participating in prostitution against their will and under the control of another).
The goal of LAS’ Anti-Trafficking Initiative is to provide justice for survivors and the financial means to recover, to raise awareness about this crime, to expose the traffickers and to remove the financial pay-off for those who engage in it.