WASHINGTON, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A group of well-known anti-trafficking, survivor, women’s, and legal organizations are opposing proposed amendments to the Model Penal Code being voted on by the American Law Institute (ALI) on May 17, 2022. The proposed changes narrow and weaken sexual assault law including the sex trafficking statute.
YWCA-USA; Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN); National Organization for Women (NOW); National District Attorneys Association (NDAA); Covenant House International; National Children’s Alliance; ECPAT-USA; National Center on Sexual Exploitation; Collective Liberty, and 43 additional national and regional organizations, law firms, and well-respected advocates join the US Department of Justice; 35 State Attorney Generals; and the National Association of Women Judges in opposing proposed amendments to the model penal code.
A motion will be offered at ALI’s Tuesday, May 17th meeting to OPPOSE the draft revisions. National and state level legislation around human trafficking, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sex offender registration has been evolving over the last several decades with tireless work by advocates, legislators, survivors, and trafficking and criminal justice experts.
The ALI proposed amendments to the Model Penal Code, however, disregard that process and evolution. The ALI has also not meaningfully included trafficking or criminal justice expert advice, nor survivor feedback in the drafting process, disregarding the decades of inclusive national public policy around these issues.
Seven sections of Department of Justice, including Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) sent a letter to ALI opposing these revisions. As DOJ writes, the proposal "will roll back decades of progress in strengthening enforcement and protecting the public." And if the motion fails, and ALI passes these amendments, DOJ mentions that they "will urge U.S. jurisdictions not to change their laws to accord with it."
A bipartisan group of 35 Attorneys General object to the hasty process arguing last week that the proposed changes "silence survivor voices." The National Association of Women Judges has also written in opposition of these amendments.
Collective Liberty and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) coordinated opposition which is shared by over 50 expert organizations and advocates in the field, including criminal justice professionals, and legislators who have worked for years on these policies at local and national levels–in direct collaboration with survivors of sex trafficking and sexual assault. ALI’s recommendations "go against federal law in place since 2015 and would exclude buyers of children for sex from liability under state trafficking charges" according to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children.
Coalition of Bipartisan Attorney’s General
Attorney General Opposition – Susannah Williams,
SOURCE Collective Liberty