Help Support Pass The Shame Act
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Thousands of children who are in the foster care system are involved in commercial sexual exploitation every day in different forms, such as sex trafficking or child pornography. Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is defined as “a global form of human trafficking that occurs when individuals buy, trade, or sell sexual acts with a child” (California & FKCE, 2016). Victims of sex trafficking are robbed of their lives both physically and mentally. Most victims will die within seven years of first being trafficked, which leaves them with an average life expectancy of twenty to twenty-one years old (Jordheim, 2014).
Those who are fortunate to live most likely will experience short and long-term psychological effect. For example, they may suffer from insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, and/or hopelessness (Jordheim, 2014). They may also experience unpleasant physical effects. For instance, the victims may suffer from malnutrition, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, miscarriages, menstrual problems, broken bones, vaginal and anal tearing, sterility, burns, and/or traumatic brain injuries (Jordheim, 2014). Victims who are exposed to commercial sexual exploitation are in high demand of services to help them through their undesirable psychological and physical injuries.
Pimps tend to have one to three girls at a time, and they set a quota that is usually between $500 to $1,000 per night (Jordheim, 2014). If the victims do not meet this quota, then the pimps force them to return to the street, physically beat them up, deprive them of sleep, and/or deprive them of food.Human trafficking is a $32-billion-dollar global industry where traffickers are estimated to each earn about $650,000 annually with the exploitation of only four children (California Child Welfare Council, n.d.).
Sexual exploitation needs to be stopped in order to protect the human rights of children who are victims. A social policy intervention that will further address sexual exploitation is the H.R. 440 Shame Act of 2017; the Act is to amend Title 18, United States Code, to permit sentencing judges in child sex trafficking cases to order the Attorney General to publicize the name and photograph of convicted defendants, and for other purposes (Congress.gov). The publication of convicted defendants’ information will allow for social awareness of the scope of this social problem. Not only will this act further protect vulnerable children, but it will also bring awareness of the inhumane and unjust society that children who are sexually exploited endure. A violation of children’s rights is a violation of human rights, and by amending Title 18, these children would be closer to a safe and protected society.
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