The last place you would ever want your child to end up would be on the streets, as a prostitute. But, it happens, and even in Mississippi, where the FBI made rescues recently. Now a new bill being introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) would tighten penalties for pimps and traffickers and provide more care for victims.
Sometimes when children are rescued from a trafficking situation, they are put in the lockup and treated just like prostitutes who are doing it of their own free will. Wicker said this bill would change that and treat them more like victims, in a situation like the drug courts, where they are treated, supervised and allowed back into their homes.
“Detention alone does not amount to rescue,” said Wicker. “This provision would put the well-being of the victim first, providing an opportunity for victims to return home and undergo treatment. These minors should be considered victims but are often treated as offenders and fail to receive the adequate counseling and support they need.”
It’s modeled after Hawaii’s “girls courts” and the federal drug court system.
The bill is called the “End Trafficking Act of 2014,” (S. 2564).