Legislative Policy

Changing Policies That Exploit

NCOSE’s public policy team and 501c4 affiliate NCOSEAction aims to defend dignity and combat sexploitation through political advocacy at the national and state levels with bi-partisan support of all legislative solutions. Our task is both offensive and defensive: We must work to educate Congress and state legislatures, so policymakers produce legislation that prevents sexual exploitation and protects its victims. NCOSE is also compelled to combat bad initiatives that would, for example, increase sex trafficking by expanding the commercial sex trade—a real fight we’ve faced (and won) since 2018.

Bipartisan collaboration continues to be essential to ending sexual exploitation. In February of 2022, NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at a press conference about the importance of the EARN IT Act. Partnerships that reach across the aisle are central to our vision of a world free from exploitation, and we will continue to work alongside legislators who share that vision – regardless of political party affiliation.

NCOSE is establishing a complete library of the best model legislation in America to stop sexual exploitation. We are growing our effort and are proactively engaged in the Congress and various state legislatures to promote our legislation and turn back initiatives of our opponents. This includes, cleaning up the Internet by holding on-line providers and platforms accountable harm the facilitate and creating policies that decriminalize victims of sexual exploitation while increasing accountability for those who do the harm – pimps/traffickers and sex buyers.

NCOSE assists legislators and interest groups, on a national and local level, working to improve their legislative proposals. This includes providing model sexually-oriented business laws, internet filtering laws, model RICO laws, optimal prostitution legislation, nude dancing regulations, massage parlor ordinances, obscenity laws, child sexual abuse material laws, and laws harmful to minors.

Once good laws are passed, NCOSE’s policy, research, and training teams work to ensure government and community leaders have the education, tools, and political will necessary to implement them. 

Latest Policy Victories

U.S. President Signs Debt Bondage Repair Act Into Law
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Three Recent Policy Wins Target Demand Reduction in the U.S.A.
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Filters ON: Online Child Protection Gains Ground
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Victory! Louisiana Says “No” to Full Decriminalization of Prostitution
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Congress Steps in to Ensure Big Tech Prioritizes Child Safety Online
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Current Objectives

NCOSE recognizes the critical importance of providing the infrastructure, resources, and support needed for survivors of sexual exploitation. While there are countless organizations and efforts to help survivors on their journey to healing, there also needs to be federal, state, and local policies and laws that enable their work and make those services not only accessible, but sustainable.

Some of our advocacy goals include:

  • Enacting policies that would require convicted sex buyers to pay for services to aid survivors
  • Widening opportunities for prostituted people to expunge or vacate crippling criminal records
  • Ensuring funds are included in federal and state bills for direct services
  • Providing pathways to reduce debt forced onto survivors by their traffickers


Learn more about how NCOSE walks alongside survivors.

Millions of children are actively online every day – where they face unfathomable levels of potential abuse from predators and exposure to pornography that normalizes sexual violence, fuels abuse and assault, inhibits brain development, and contributes to poorer mental health. Child sex abuse material is rampant on the Internet, and is only rising in recent years. Parents and caregivers are overwhelmed trying to keep up with endless new technologies to protect their children, while social media and Big Tech companies continuously choose profits over accountability and shared responsibility. That’s why it’s critical to advocate for legislation that not only provides protective measures, but contributes to prevention so no child is victimized online.

Some of our advocacy goals include:

  • Reducing child pornography exposure abuse
  • Limiting the ability for predators to target and groom kids online
  • Eliminating child sexual abuse material on the Internet
  • Ensuring technology companies are held accountable for CSAM distributed and consumed on their platforms


Learn more about protecting children online.

At present the systemic failure to combat sex buying—consumer-level demand for paid sex—guarantees not only the survival of sex trafficking/prostitution, but also the creation of future generations of victims. Without addressing demand through combatting the efforts to full decriminalize prostitution, brothel keeping, and pimping/trafficking, sex trafficking will explode to meet the never-ending need for bodies for purchase. We are advocating for policies and laws that stop the problem at its source, not just addressing the harm this system of violence and oppression causes.

Some of our advocacy goals include:

  • Making it near impossible for traffickers to act with impunity as they groom and sell victims on mainstream platforms
  • Continuing to stop efforts to legalize sex-buying, brothel-keeping, and pimping.

 

Learn more about Sex Trafficking

Learn more about Combating Demand & Sex Buying

NCOSE recognizes pornography is a deeply damaging social influence and a global industry that revels in non-consensual material, rape, incest, child abuse, and more. Currently, there are no laws in place that require age verification or informed consent – creating countless victims of both child sexual abuse and non-consensual image-based abuse whose trauma is immortalized for the masses in the form of Internet pornography. We are advocating for common-sense laws that would give power and agency back to victims and protect children and others from unwanted pornography exposure.

Some of our advocacy goals include:

  • Ensuring there is meaningful informed consent given by all who are depicted in pornographic material – platforms and pornographers who do not verify will face high penalties.
  • Legislating easy, simple, and fast ways for victims to have depictions of their abuse or non-consensual material permanently removed from platforms.
  • Protecting kids from exposure to pornography.

 

Learn more about the public health harms of pornography

Legislation We Endorse

NCOSE believes the only way to end sexual abuse and exploitation is to build a diverse but united movement. To this end, NCOSE only works on legislation that has bi-partisan united support.

Earn It Act – The EARN IT Act entails a precise, surgical, socially responsible change to CDA 230 that will directly address this horrific criminality by effectively ending impunity for online platforms that profit from child sexual exploitation. The Earn It Act will finally introduce accountability for Big Tech.

Fix App Ratings Bill – This legislation is designed to increase accountability in the current app rating system. Many apps claim to be safe for children but instead, expose them to hard core pornography that is demonstrably harmful to developing minds.

CREEPER Act 2.0 – ban the sale, possession, importation and transportation of sex dolls resembling children.

End National Defense Network Abuse Act – The END Network Abuse Act would assist the Pentagon in stopping the Department of Defense’s (DoD) illegal use of the government network to view, possess, trade, and even produce child pornography. 

A Childhood Free from Pornography

We believe children should be able to grow and learn about intimacy, relationships, and love without the devastating influence of pornography which eroticizes violence and warps neurological development.

That is why the NCOSE Law Center is pioneering tactics in order to:

  • Promote State Resolutions and Laws – the public health harms of pornography are well documented in academic research, yet the majority of America does not know about this data. That’s why the Law Center is promoting state resolutions and follow up legislation to declare pornography a public health crisis, to raise public awareness and to lay the groundwork for future legislation. As of the spring 2019, NCOSE’s resolution has already passed in 15 states.
  • Push Back Against Children Being Used in Pornography – the porn industry overturned 18 U.S. Code § 2257 so they have less regulations on age records, making it easier for them to illegally use a 16 or 15-year-old girl in mainstream pornography. The porn industry gloats that they spent 1 million dollars lobbying for this change and they are actively working to dismantle other laws, unchecked by opposition until now with the NCOSE Law Center as their foe.
  • Make Schools and Libraries Safe – unfortunately, most schools and libraries have poor or nonexistent filters to keep children from being exposed to pornography. The NCOSE Law Center is working to create model policies that citizens can introduce to protect children and safeguard the integrity of places of learning.
  • Protect Kids on Social Media – social media of all kinds are rife with pornography, in addition to child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, sextortion, predatory grooming, and more. The NCOSE Law Center is striving to fix these problems by advocating on Capitol Hill and in states to hold these companies to higher accountability in ratings and parental safety tools.

Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act – This bill provides a simple solution by making the prohibition of the purchase of sex (which the U.S. has done itself) a requirement for meeting the TIP process’ criterion of “making serious and sustained efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex.”

Protecting Rights of Those Exploited by Coercive Trafficking (PROTECT) Act of 2019 – According to the language of the bill itself, it seeks to “amend chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that using drugs or illegal substances to cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act constitutes coercion and using drugs or illegal substances to provide or obtain the labor or services of a person constitutes forced labor.”

Combatting Demand

We want to reduce the demand for commercial sex – which fuels sex trafficking – by promoting the use of targeted tactics by law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other judicial means. 

We want to reform prostitution laws to shrink the commercial sex market by increasing penalties for sex buyers and decriminalizing victims while providing exit services and opportunities for each of them.

The Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act – This legislation ensures that transportation carriers have the policies and training in place to respond swiftly and appropriately when incidents of sexual assault and harassment occur.

The Numbers

300+

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

100+

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

93

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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Stories

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Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

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Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

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