Did California Just Legalize Child Prostitution?
California Governor Jerry Brown passed several bills on Monday, December 26th to combat child trafficking. Many sources have cited this event as legalizing child prostitution. However, the aim of the new laws is to treat the minor as a victim of child trafficking rather than a criminal. Though this is not without its own caveats as willing participants may feel more free to sell themselves for money without fear of breaking the law.
While it does create some loopholes that could be used to benefit of creative criminals the new laws focus on protecting the identities of child trafficking victims. This does not make it legal for pimps or “johns” to take advantage of underage girls.
There are concerns that the state of California does not have proper social services in place to properly rescue and facilitate rehabilitation of these child trafficking victims. Another major concern is that it can take law enforcement out of this picture in regards to the victims as well.
Sex trafficking is a serious issue and happens more than one may think. In fact the same Monday these new laws were passed an Uber driver rescued a 16 year old sex trafficking victim: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/uber-driver-saves-16-year-old-girl-sex-trafficking-n701241
More definitely needs to be done to combat these issues. Only time will tell if these new bills passed will help rescue victims.
Report Suspected Human Trafficking
Call 1-866-347-2423 (toll free)
Call 1-802-872-6199 (non toll free international)
Report online at www.ice.gov/tips.