MADISON Ð A ceremonial bill signing for 2015 Act 367 authored by Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), Representative Jill Billings (D-La Crosse), Representative LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) was held recently in the office of Governor Scott Walker.


The new law strengthens the response of child welfare agencies to the crime of child sex trafficking and improves services related to prevention and treatment.


ÒI am proud of the progress Wisconsin has made in in the fight against human trafficking. The services and response provided under the bill are another huge step forward,Ó state Rep. Loudenbeck


Act 367 aligns Wisconsin statutes with the new federal ÒJustice for Victims of Trafficking ActÓ requiring Wisconsin to conduct child abuse investigations of children who have been alleged to be victims of sex trafficking and recognize sex trafficked children as victims of child abuse and neglect.


The bill expands what constitutes the crime of child sex trafficking, and includes child sex trafficking under the definition of abuse in the ChildrenÕs Code.


This revised definition will require a child sex trafficking victim that is being abused by a non-caregiver to be screened in by a caseworker who may determine that a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) order is appropriate.


ÒAligning Wisconsin state statutes and policies with the new federal requirements regarding sex trafficked children will improve current child welfare practice and help victims and potential victims receive services and support to meet their complex needs and help them heal,Ó said Rep. Loudenbeck.