Human Trafficking Response in Virginia

In 2013, the first state level advisory group was established by former Governor Robert F. McDonnell when he signed Executive Directive 7: Comprehensive, Coordinated State Response to the Problem of Human Trafficking. This group was called the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinating Committee and was comprised of representatives from each state agency. In subsequent years, several pieces of legislation were enacted to support human trafficking prevention and response efforts.

In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly approved the Code of Virginia § 9.1-116.5 which became effective on July 1, 2019. This established a State Trafficking Response Coordinator within the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. This position is to establish a consistent, collaborative, multi-disciplinary response system to working with human trafficking survivors. This includes responding to the case from both a victim services and legal perspective. This position collaborates with state and local government agencies, private providers, non-profits, and other NGOs throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

What Is Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people profit from the control and exploitation of others. Two forms of human trafficking are sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Human trafficking can occur anywhere, within and across U.S. borders, victimizing both U.S. citizens and non-citizens, both children and adults, and across all gender identities.

Statewide Efforts

Human Trafficking Legislation

2022 Approved Legislation
§ 35.1-15.1 DCJS; hotels; human trafficking training (HB 258)
§ 9.1-102 DCJS; Human trafficking training for law-enforcement personnel (HB 283 & SB 467)
§ 23.1-506 Eligibility for in-state tuition (HB 526)
§ 19.2-327.19 Relief under writ of vacatur (HB 711)
§ 22.1-207.1 Family life education (HB 1023)
§ 16.1-228 Child abuse and neglect; amends definition, valid complaint (HB 1334)
2023 Approved Legislation
§ 8.01-42.4 Civil action for trafficking in persons (HB 1374)
§ 23.1-808.1 Human trafficking awareness and prevention training; first-year orientation (HB 1555)
§ 54.1-2928.3 Continuing learning activities (HB 1426)
Chapter 556  DCJS; two-year pilot program; safe harbor for sex trafficked youth (SB 1292)
§ 22.1-24.1 Internet Safety Advisory Council (HB 1555)
§ 18.2-356.1 Purchasing or selling of minors; exceptions; penalties (HB 1699)


Resources & Helpful Websites

The Virginia Human Trafficking Resource Guide

The Virginia Human Trafficking Resource Guide is divided into 7 regions. These regions correspond to the Virginia State Police (VSP) Office Location map that can be viewed here

Virginia Office of New Americans

Responding to Human Trafficking among Individuals from Afghanistan Tip Sheet

Take It Down is a free online resource that was developed by the National Center for Missing and exploited Children (NCMEC) to assist individuals in removing nude photos or sexually explicit content that was taken of them when they were under the age of 18. This service will work for online platforms that have agreed to participate. 

How to Report Human Trafficking

If you are experiencing a life threatening situation call 9-1-1 or call #77.



Contact Us

McKayla Burnett
State Trafficking Response Coordinator
(804) 382-3353