ALI’s Proposed Changes Threaten Years of Progress in Sexual Exploitation Laws

A certain segment of American academics continue to get further and further away from real life and it’s a huge problem because they have outsized influence among decision makers. It’s also a bizarre yet fashionable trend to create more excuses for criminals—including those who commit egregious acts of sexual violence.  

Here’s an example of what NCOSE and our allies are up against… 

The American Law Institute (ALI) is an influential research and advocacy organization consisting of law school professors, well-paid lawyers, and some judges. It proposes “model” legislation that is taught in law schools and considered by state legislatures weighing policy options. 

At its annual meeting last month in Washington DC—held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where rooms cost over $600/night that week—ALI adopted revisions to its Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault and Related Offenses (Article 213) including sex trafficking. 

These revisions would reduce penalties against sexual violence; narrow liability for these crimes; restrict the scope of sex trafficking; and redefine consent too broadly. 

Get this: ALI proposed greater LENIENCY for sex buyers seeking CHILDREN for sex acts. 

According to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children, 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.”  

Basically, the changes are pro-perpetrator rollbacks of existing law, led by professors from New York University Law School. The proposal shocked anti-trafficking advocates, survivor leaders, women’s rights groups, and anti-sexual assault organizations across the country.  

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation helped mobilize over 45 organizations, including RAINN, Polaris Project, National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), and National NOW asking ALI members attending the annual meeting to vote “No.” [LETTER HERE

National and state-level legislation around human trafficking, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sex offender registration has evolved over the last several decades to be tougher on criminals as a result of tireless work by advocates, legislators, survivors, and criminal justice experts. 

ALI disregarded that evolution. It also failed to seek survivor feedback or input from agencies serving victims of sexual violence in the drafting process.  

In a very unusual move, the US Department of Justice wrote a letter asking ALI not to endorse these revisions. Sodid 35 state attorneys general. So did the National Association of Women Judges. As DOJ argued “the draft revision of article 213 would narrow and weaken the law of sex offenses, and roll back decades of progress in strengthening enforcement and protecting the public.” DOJ promised to advise U.S. jurisdictions across the nation not to heed ALI’s recommendations.

Please take 30 SECONDS to use the action below to email to your local elected officials asking them to adopt policies that increase accountability for sex buyers. NCOSE can support officials with research, customized legislation, and training.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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