State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle Lobbies the State to Strengthen Protections for Child Victims of Human Trafficking
Miami, Fla. (December 9, 2020) – Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle recently lobbied state lawmakers and policymakers to expand protections for child victims of human trafficking. During a virtual presentation to the Joint Committee of two Statewide Councils on Human Trafficking in which Florida’s Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez participated, State Attorney Fernandez Rundle delivered a compelling case to amend state laws to include additional protection of child victims and witnesses from discovery depositions in criminal and civil cases, except upon a showing of good cause.
“Child victims and witnesses are particularly vulnerable in deposition settings. Being made to face their alleged offenders and recall traumatic experiences can have a devastating impact on their physical and psychological development,” said State Attorney Fernandez Rundle.
“New neuroscience research has dramatically improved our understanding of brain development and the long-term effects of trauma and toxic stress. My office is advocating for changes that will allow us to prosecute predators and protect our children’s growth, development, and emotional well-being.”
Since creating Florida’s first Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit in 2012, the Office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has filed over 685 human trafficking-related cases to date. The State Attorney launched one of the nation’s only buildings dedicated solely to human trafficking investigations and services. The undisclosed location houses law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, and social services personnel. The multi-disciplinary team collaborates on rescues, recoveries, and investigations.
For more information on the State Attorney’s human trafficking efforts, log on to www.miamisao.com/humantrafficking.