A ten-year-old girl, her eleven-year-old sister-both caught in human trafficking–both arrested and threatened with jail. According to CNN news today, and its article “Selling Atlanta’s Children: What has and hasn’t changed” by Jane O. Hansen. That was the Georgia of 2000.
However, even as I write this, I know thousands of children and adults are still caught in lives lived in fear and degradation being sex slaves to the men whose insatiable desire for sex–in many cases deviant and violent sex–continues.
Hansen’s excellent article (http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/us/child-sex-trafficking-update-hansen/index.html) is full of facts and statistics about Georgia in the year 2000 (and I am sure in almost every state). How that children like the ten-year-old girl and her sister were arrested while the men selling and buying them were not.
The article goes on to state how a survey done during that time showed that male and female judges reacted differently to these children and their situations. Why? Are men even now under the opinion that prostitutes (no matter how young) are still perpetrators and not victims?
In the years since, laws have changed–in Georgia and in other states–but the fact remains that too few traffickers and too few purchasers of sex, especially those buying underage girls and boys, are being arrested.
We need laws that make it easier to arrest the pimps and the johns, laws that will protect the children and adults forced into human trafficking. And we need a change in a culture that says somehow this “using and buying and enslaving” of human beings is okay.
One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, America still bears deep scars of another type of slavery. Just as a war had to be fought then and is still being fought today, a war against human trafficking needs to be fought.
We cannot back down or grow luke-warm to what is being done to women, girls, and boys. We cannot give way to the constant cry we hear today that says anything is okay in the name of sex. It is not.
What do you think?