Tuesday, June 5, 2007
"The New York State Legislature is rightly pleased with itself for passing a new law that offers tougher penalties for sex traffickers, as well as help for their victims who are often smuggled in from abroad and forced to work as sex slaves. As important as it is, the trafficking law fails to deal with the serious and growing problem of American children, some as young as 13 years old, who are dragooned into prostitution by brutal pimps.
The best way to care for these children would be for the State Senate to pass the Safe Harbor Act, a groundbreaking law that was passed by the House.
By law, sexually exploited children are too young to even consent to sex. But instead of treating them as victims, prosecutors too often charge them with prostitution and send them off to the juvenile equivalent of jail. Under the Safe Harbor law, sexually exploited children would no longer be charged with prostitution. They would be placed under state supervision and lodged in safe houses where they would get the counseling and medical care they need and are unlikely to receive in detention."
By N.Y. Times Editorial Link to Article (last visited 6-5-07 NVS)