The Safe Harbor Policy could not attend to multidimensional needs of the minors. Considering the victims are derived from diverse environmental backgrounds, it would be difficult to administer uniform measures to the diverse demands of the society. Circumstances through which the teens become victims varied from one individual to another. This, case rendered policy somehow ambiguous. As indicated earlier above, the compelling reasons vary. Some found themselves victims out of needs that outweigh the crime, like the need for food. But others are criminally victims, like teens of sound mind engaging in sex trafficking in pretends to demand money from parents. These scenarios hanged the policy at balance. The policy wanted all minor sex traffickers to be considered as traumatised children (Shields & Letournea, 2015).
The victims of trafficking are derived from diverse states of different interethnic groups with varied, compelling reasons. Values, practices, traditions and accepted norms vary across the states and nations. The safe harbour policy failed to recognise this critical societal barrier at length. The focus of the policy invited conflict among the victims and the parental hood. Experts did not harmonise the provision of the welfare system as the measure to curb victims from trafficking (Barnert et al. 2016). Again, this provision was a weakness in the policy itself.
Proposed Replacement Policy
Money and predators are the problems. The reports at the trafficking resource centre also revealed sex trafficking gaining momentum as a profitable venture used by traffickers to threatened and demand hefty money from parents before releasing the minors. Therefore, sex trafficking is viewed as value gain composite of supply and demand driven motives. When a policy trimming demand is established, perhaps that is when sex trafficking will be overcome. Empowering impending victims in terms education and basic needs will see them not lured to predators for monetary and basic needs gain. More focus should be placed on buyers of sex to avoid enticing innocent minors to sex trafficking.
McPherson, G., & Student, M. S. W. (2016). The Criminalization of Child Trafficking.
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. Child abuse & neglect, 51, 249-262.
Ijadi-Maghsoodi, R., Cook, M., Barnert, E. S., Gaboian, S., & Bath, E. (2016). Understanding and responding to the needs of commercially sexually exploited youth: recommendations for the mental health provider. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 25(1), 107-122.
Shields, R. T., & Letourneau, E. J. (2015). Commercial sexual exploitation of children and the emergence of safe harbor legislation: implications for policy and practice. Current psychiatry reports, 17(3), 11.
Mir, T. (2013). Trick or treat: Why minors engaged in prostitution should be treated as victims, not criminals. Family Court Review, 51(1), 163-177.
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