Child prostitute or trafficked child? These words bring a very different picture to mind.
Minors are often arrested and charged with crimes if money changes hands while they are being trafficked, raped and exploited. These minors are not prostitutes, they are trafficked children and teens.
Every state should have a Safe Harbor law that prevents minors involved in the sex trade from prosecution and instead defines them as victims of abuse. The law should provide recovery programs so these children and teens can be placed in safe houses and receive life skills training, education and medical and mental health care. Yet only 11 states have such laws.
There needs to be a bigger change in the way people view trafficked children and teens.
We need to encourage legislators to see that a child prostitute is, in fact, an abused trafficked child, and convince them to ensure that each and every state has Safe Harbor laws in effect.
Learn more at Barbara Amaya’s Washington Times article: Victim or criminal: The double standard of trafficked minors.