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State Safe Harbor Laws and Recommendations for Future Legislation

By Aradhana Tiwari, Stephanie Kay Richard & Jill P. Rawal

Although federal law and many state laws recognize that sex-trafficked children are victims and should be treated as such, many state safe harbor laws do not decriminalize child prostitution. Moreover, state child welfare systems do not provide adequate services for child sex-trafficking victims. State legislatures and child welfare agencies need to keep the unique problems of child sex-trafficking victims in mind when designing and implementing laws and programs that affect these children, and all future safe harbor laws must, at a minimum, decriminalize child prostitution.

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