SocialPolicy: Child Sex Trafficking Bill, United States
SocialPolicy: Child Sex Trafficking Bill, United States
Thereare fewer social crimes that elicit greater public indignation thansex trafficking of the young citizens. Sex trafficking of children isa stern challenge in the United States (U.S), and it involves theabuse and neglect of the native and foreign residents. However, manystereotypes are surrounding the matter, and, coupled with thefruitless strategies of remedying the problem it has proven trickyto look into the impasse and coercion of the affected children.Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify a federal legislationbill meant to address the issue, summarize it, and discuss thepossibility of its approval while using other related literature. Theresearch is divided into two major sections: bill summary, and thebackground.
Asdetailed by Civic Impulse (2016), the draft law on “Ensuring aBetter Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking” wasintroduced as a modified version of the “Child Abuse Prevention andTreatment Act.” It was initiated by Robert Portman, Ohio Senator,on the 21st of April, 2015 and assigned to the congressionalcommittee on the same date for consideration before its dispatch tothe House or Senate. The purpose of the legislation was to ensurethat a state plan is formulated to form the basis of child protectiveservices system, which would consist of an approved assurance thatthe government enforces a law in the two primary areas. First, underthe bill, there was to be a legislation aimed to identify and examineall reports regarding the underage known or suspected to be sextrafficking casualties. The second policy area would be to train theworkers of child protective services how to recognize, evaluate, andprovide meticulous attention to the mapped victims. The bill directedeach state benefitting from the federal grant to engage closely withthe Secretary of Health and Human Services, the aim being to generateyearly data on the population of sex trafficking victims. The billcategorically outlined that a child is perceived as a casualty ofsexual abuse, and or, neglect, if he or she is determined by thestate/local agency worker as a sufferer of sex trafficking or acasualty of the critical trafficking varieties in individuals.Finally, the bill specified that a state, in this case, should definea child as a person who is below the age of 24 years.
Manystudies have been conducted on the topic of the U.S sex traffickingof the young populace, but this section limits to five such pieces ofresearch. First, Weitzer (2011) identified sex trafficking ofchildren as a problem deeply rooted in the U.S, noting that theperpetrators of the business have united to operate the activity asan industry. Further observation by the author was that the presentstrategy of managing the problem focuses more on the female children,and that has led to a rise in the sexual abuse or trafficking of themale peers to over 50% occurrence. Consequently, Weitzer (2011)suggested that an evidence-based practice (or collaboration ascaptured in the Bill by Senator Portman) be adopted alongsideappropriate legislation to solve the problem.
Second,Chuang (2010), identifying sex abuse as a grave issue in the U.S,proposed the implementation of prostitution reforms and law andpolicy against sex trafficking of children in the country.Unfortunately, the researcher regretted that the government has, fora long time, disregarded trafficking as a constituent of child abuseand neglect, and that has encouraged the worsening of the situationover the years.
Third,Greenbaum (2014) noted that the number of children visiting hospitalswith problems related to prostitution (e.g. infection with sexuallytransmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies) has been growingsteadily. That is an indication that the child sex trafficking hasbecome part of the social practices in the U.S. With the many healthrisks associated with the act, the author urged the federalgovernment to formulate and implement legislation that would help puta stop to the inhuman act of child abuse and neglect.
Fourth,Rafferty (2016), in addition to pointing out that child sextrafficking poses an immeasurable psychological trauma to the victim,was quick to assert that the U.S has failed to work towards apermanent solution but rather, is treating trafficked children ascriminals. Therefore, if the perception is not changed through astrong legislation, the victims will continue to suffer double-foldfrustrations of criminalization and sexual abuse.
Finally,Barnert etal.(2016) proposed that apart from decriminalizing victims of sextrafficking, the federal government must also put in place aneffective legislation that will not only book the perpetrators of theact but also help in the rehabilitation of the trafficking sufferers.A keen assessment of the above five studies indicate that the U.Srequire new policies to spearhead the aversion process of sex childtrafficking, and that gave Portman’s bill a high probability ofbeing adopted into an Act.
Fromthe above considerations, it is envisaged that sex trafficking ofchildren has become an intolerable situation in the U.S. Theapproving of the bill by Portman will be one step closer toaddressing the problem. That is because the proposition has the twoaspects of evidence-based practice and the anti-trafficking policyimplementation. Interestingly, all the five articles reviewed echoedthe need for legislation in controlling the problem, thus, the billintroduced by the senator cannot be overwritten. In simple terms, thefederal government should adopt the law wholly, or revise it to matchthe expectations of the policymakers before finally putting it touse. That will be the only sure way to save the children the socialburden of sexual abuse and criminalization as prostitutes in theUnited States.
Barnert,E. S., Abrams, S., Azzi, V. F., Ryan, G., Brook, R., & Chung, P.J. (2016). Identifying best practices for “Safe Harbor”legislation to protect child sex trafficking victims:Decriminalization alone is not sufficient. Childabuse & neglect, 51(5),249-262.
Chuang,J. A. (2010). Rescuing trafficking from ideological capture:prostitution reform and anti-trafficking law and policy. Universityof Pennsylvania Law Review, 158(6),1655-1728.
CivicImpulse. (2016). S. 1028 — 114th Congress: Ensuring a BetterResponse for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking. Retrieved fromhttps://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1028
Greenbaum,V. J. (2014). Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking ofchildren in the United States. Currentproblems in pediatric and adolescent health care, 44(9),245-269.
Rafferty,Y. (2016). Challenges to the rapid identification of children whohave been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Childabuse & neglect, 52(3),158-168.
Weitzer,R. (2011). Sex trafficking and the sex industry: The need forevidence-based theory and legislation. TheJournal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), 101(4),1337-1369.