Human Trafficking Project Honored by The Florida Bar Foundation
Last week, the FSU College of Law Human Trafficking and Exploitation Law Project (HELP) was recognized as first runner-up for The Florida Bar Foundation’s Paul C. Doyle Children’s Advocacy Award. HELP was honored for its direct legal representation of children survivors of human trafficking, for its advocacy in getting a rule passed that requires all public schools to teach human trafficking prevention, and for its creation—with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence—of an eight episode podcast on human trafficking and trial advocacy. During the virtual award ceremony on Thursday, June 17, third-year law student Melody Andrews and recent FSU Law graduate Daynica Harley (’21) were recognized on behalf of all HELP students. Andrews and Harley received the award from alumnus Judge Suzanne Van Wyk (’94) at the end of May.
HELP is a unique project within the Public Interest Law Center that aims to serve a currently underserved subpopulation of child human trafficking victims: commercially sexually exploited children not already involved in the dependency system. This subpopulation has fallen through the cracks, unable to access services available to other children who are in foster care. HELP is training a new generation of lawyers to advocate for child human trafficking victims and, through precedent-setting direct representation and collaborative outreach and prevention efforts, is working to create a service model that can be replicated in other parts of the state, potentially impacting children in all regions of Florida.
Published on June 25, 2021