Human Trafficking Victims Receive Help
CA Regulation Change Provides Assistance to Human Trafficking Victims
Sacramento, CA—The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) voted unanimously to approve a new regulation that allows victims of human trafficking who have been forced into prostitution to receive much needed assistance from the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP).
"We have always considered victims of trafficking to be eligible for the services offered by the program, but realized clarification was needed so we can continue to provide services to those who have been forced to do things against their will," said Julie Nauman, Executive Officer. "Victims of human trafficking deserve the services offered by our program."
Because human trafficking victims are not committing the crime of prostitution, through this new regulation, victims of human trafficking are exempt from Rule 649.56, the regulation regarding the denial of benefits due to involvement in the events leading up to the qualifying crime. By adding language that exempts victims of trafficking, the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) now ensures consistency in its processing decisions. CalVCP proposed an amendment to the Rule last year at the November 29 board meeting where the three-member board voted to allow CalVCP to begin the rulemaking process. The public comment period closed after the second public hearing on February 28, 2013.
"We thank the public and our stakeholders for all their comments and participation at these hearings," continued Nauman. "I appreciate how involved the public was during this process."
According to the recent report, “The State of Human Trafficking in California 2012," released by the Attorney General’s office, California is one of the nation's top four destination states for human trafficking, believed to be a $32 billion a year global industry. From mid-2010 to mid-2012, California's human trafficking task forces identified 1,277 victims. However, that number is believed to be only a small fraction of those actually affected.
CalVCP received more than 53,000 applications and provided more than $70 million in compensation to crime victims last fiscal year. Through the program, victims can be reimbursed for crime-related expenses including costs associated with funeral services, medical bills, mental health treatment, and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from federal grants and criminal restitution fines and not taxpayer dollars.
For additional information about CalVCP and resources, visit the VCGCB website at CalVCP.ca.gov.
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, and vehicular manslaughter.
If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds.