Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prison Nation

Weakest suffer twice: US jails child victims of sex trafficking

"Underage prostitution in the US is organized crime's third biggest money-maker after guns and drugs. But the kids get blamed instead of the criminals. Young girls are put behind bars for walking the streets, with no offer of rescue or help.

­The US State Department regularly puts out reports on how horrific human trafficking is in other countries.

Yet for the home country, the FBI estimates that each year more than 100,000 underage American girls are exploited for commercial sex. The average age is 13 years old. But the usual treatment the children get, when arrested, is either jail time or probation.

In the US, prostitution laws do not exempt minors from prosecution. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reported 1,600 juveniles were arrested for prostitution within just one year.

But lawyers say in the US, the paradox of the system is that the children are prosecuted for crimes for which they cannot legally give consent."


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