Kids Not Criminals

Think sex trafficking is a foreign issue? Think again. According to national estimates, there are currently 100,000 children in the commercial sex trade in the United States. What’s worse, many child victims of sex trafficking are arrested for prostitution and placed in juvenile detention. ITGegXmckruvbdL-556x313-noPadHow can we criminalize children for committing a sex act they are not even legally able to consent to? The Polaris Project has started a petition via change.org to get the attention of state lawmakers in order to gain sup0port for Safe Harbor laws. These laws define these sexually exploited children as victims of abuse, help them find protection and support, and grant them immunity from prosecution for prostitution while they are under 18 years of age. Safe Harbor laws also can increase funding for specialized services like long-term housing, mental health care, educational support, and job training to help these children recover. Thirty-nine states lack these basic Safe Harbor protections – including Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Every state can do more to increase services for child victims of sex trafficking and you can join the movement by signing the petition.

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3 responses to “Kids Not Criminals

  • eliscorey35

    Thank you for taking on this topic. It is such a personal topic for me. You are right. Trafficking is an American problem. It is not just those in poverty that are affected. Recently, a trafficking ring in Fairfax, Virginia was uncovered. This is one of the most affluent suburbs of Washington D.C. The epidemic of human slavery must be stopped.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/gang-members-arrested-alleged-suburban-teen-prostitution-ring/story?id=16046155

  • emmamehrabi

    It’s very interesting to follow these pieces of legislation at the GA this session (considering two important ones died yesterday in House courts sub. committee) needless to say–I’ve also heard the highest known record of human trafficking is in Loudon County (obviously very close to Fairfax). Another interesting point about the policy in VA–last week with a few pieces of legislation that would require truck stops to post signs with human trafficking hotline numbers was amended and reported, but really just ripped to shreds by the GOP and lobbyists in favor of protecting truck stops. It is definitely an issue that people know very little about. I also feel like it’s very easy to be, “out of sight out of mind” when it comes human trafficking. I feel like the general public thinks of the movie “Taken” (not even going to comment on that movie, haha) but seriously.

  • kaltamirano

    I completely agree that awareness is the first step. Like many problems we are faced with today, people tend to think that if we don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. This is a very serious issue and I am very excited to see you are covering it. I’ve seen a few documentaries on how young girls are brought to the US and forced into trafficking. They don’t have passports, they don’t speak English, and they’re basically trapped because even if they do escape they don’t know who to turn to. I’ve also seen how American girls are kidnapped while abroad and also forced into this form of slavery. I’m excited to learn about this topic and reading your future posts.

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