Empowering Trafficking Survivors Through Criminal Record Relief Laws

Many survivors of human trafficking have arrests and convictions that occurred because of their trafficking. A survivor’s criminal record can be a barrier to finding gainful employment and securing safe housing, among other things. Specifically, 73% of respondents in a National Survivor Network survey of trafficking survivors reported losing or not receiving employment due to their criminal records, while 58% experienced barriers to accessing housing because of this. In addition, a criminal record can prevent or limit a survivor’s ability to continue or begin their education.

Over the last few years, all but six states have enacted criminal record relief legislation for trafficking survivors. Under these laws, survivors can have their criminal records expunged or vacated, which removes this heavy burden and empowers survivors to better pursue the life they want after they have left their trafficking situations.

In order for survivors to benefit from these laws, they first need to know what options are available to them in their state and what steps they need to take to have their records cleared. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of state expungement and vacatur laws, available resources that can assist survivors in applying for relief under such laws, and tools for the trafficking community to use to increase awareness and empower survivors through these laws.


Outline/Structure of the Presentation

Powerpoint presentation followed by Q+A.

Learning Outcome

Attendees will learn about the various types of criminal record relief available to trafficking survivors, how to raise awareness about the availability of such relief, and how expungement and vacatur of criminal records empowers trafficking survivors.

Target Audience


Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 3 years ago