Safe Harbor For All Strategic Planning Process
The State of Minnesota Legislature seeks to identify the most appropriate and effective response for adults impacted by commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, as well as the harms that criminalization of prostitution causes to people involved in commercial sex. The strategic planning process builds on Safe Harbor for Youth and the No Wrong Door Model which was implemented in 2014 with services, supports and housing for sexually exploited youth. This effort will change laws and we need your input.
The Safe Harbor for All strategic planning process was mandated by the Minnesota Legislature to help the State decide next steps. The legislature funded a grant to pass-through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH awarded the project to a partnership of three agencies lead by the University of Minnesota's Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) with The Advocates for Human Rights and Rainbow Research.
The strategic planing process includes stakeholder input, analysis of existing data, and review of the literature. The final product will be a strategic plan delivered to MDH no later than October 15, 2018 and presented to the Minnesota Legislature. See below for how you can participate and to join the mailing list.
In January 2018, the Strategic Planning Team convened an expert Process Advisory Group of forty individuals from across the state and diverse communities with a wealth of knowledge and experience that is centered around the wisdom of those with personal experience selling or trading sex, and survivors of trafficking. This Process Advisory Group reviewed all community engagement plans and protocols to ensure that our process is open, inclusive, safe, and transparent. The Process Advisory Group will be convened at the end of the community engagement process.
Safe Harbor for All?
We seek to actively engage stakeholders to identify potential impacts of policy changes on the health, wellness, and dignity of adults involved in commercial sex, including trafficking and exploitation victims. We will also explore people’s opinions about intended and unintended consequences related to different legal frameworks. The strategic planning process will engage stakeholders from across Minnesota from a wide variety of communities as described in the legislation. We will focus on two groups:
- People with personal experience in trading or selling sex, which includes adult victims and survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and sex workers
- Systems professionals with expertise on sex trading and trafficking, which include law enforcement, prosecutors, social service providers, advocates and more.
The legislation also mandates statewide input from people of all genders and sexual orientations, racial and ethnic communities, immigrants and new Americans, tribally affiliated individuals, and more.
The plan will address relevant criminal issues, availability and access to prevention and intervention services for adult victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, unintended consequences of any recommendations, and identification of intersections with other areas of oppression. Also, as mandated by legislation, the final product will include specific recommendations regarding the adoption of a partial decriminalization, or “Safe Harbor for All”, statewide model.
The Safe Harbor for All Strategic Planning Team invites knowledgeable experts (people with personal experience and systems professionals) to participate in the community engagement portion of the strategic plan. We are looking to talk with individuals with expertise on the issues of sex trading and trafficking to help inform final recommendations to the state legislature. Anyone age 18 and older with personal experience selling or trading sex, including victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, and anyone whose work brings them into close connection with these issues should consider sharing their perspective.
Safety, confidentiality, and respect are of utmost importance to our strategic planning team. This strategic plan is not human subjects research, and no one will be asked to disclose their personal story. These interviews are to seek guidance from experts about the best solutions for reducing harm and exploitation for those ages 18 and older involved in sex trading and trafficking.
The Strategic Planning Team is conducting individual and group confidential interviews, Art-of-Hosting style events, and an online survey. This process will last through May 2018, and there will be many opportunities to contribute. In addition, our team will be traveling to Greater Minnesota to conduct in-person interviews through May of 2018. Specific dates and locations are to be determined. We will share these opportunities through our mailing list and on this webpage.
To contribute through the online anonymous survey, click the link here. This brief survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
If you are interested in sharing your perspective in-person or by phone, please call our interview in-take line at 612-703-9227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
Join our mailing list to receive periodic updates about the strategic planning process. Click here to join.