RI just wont listen to sex workers about how to keep minors out of the sex industry but they will travel to CA and follow the failed polices in CA.
In 2015, at the RI trafficking task force event, both Hasbro Children’s Hospital and dayoneRI explained to the audience that they integrate minors found working in the sex industry so they can purposely isolate the teens from anyone they know in the future. This is why the teens just run away again. They also admitted they had no direct and vital for trafficking victims. They admit they can not provide victims with housing, or jobs that pay a living wage or a higher education without debt. So instead they focus their efforts with the task force that gets sex workers arrested so they can be introduced to the justice system and offered free course yoga classes which they seem to think will change the plight of poverty for this population.
When a young person says that their family isn’t safe, that foster care isn’t safe, that they aren’t safe in police custody or at the shelter, we need to listen and believe them.
We already know why so many youths are entering the sex industry it because they cant access shelter and other vital services from the state. The majority of minors engaged in survival sex say that they don’t have pimps and they teach each other how to find clients while avoiding the police and social workers.
Surviving the streets of NY: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM & YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex
Yet this didn’t stop RI from recently convicting a 18 yr old boy for sex trafficking and sentencing him to 10 years even though he was only 17 yrs old when the crime occurred. The boys crime was that his girlfriend was a underage sex worker. Ironically when 40 yr old police officer get caught pimping out 14 yr old girls, not much happens to him.
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And then something even more rare happened: some California politicians even seemed to come away with new perspective. Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-20th District) said committee members learned yesterday that prostitution “can be voluntary” or it “can be trafficking, and we have to distinguish between the two if we are going to help the victims.”
If Rhode Island really wants to reduce sex trafficking, they would be support Amnesty Internationals proposal to decriminalize consensual adult prostitution because it has been proven to reduce trafficking, stigma and violence towards sex workers.
RI trafficking task force has refused to allow students from Brown University to attend their monthly meetings. They claim they discuss confidential cases but I wonder why they share confidential information with DayoneRI, a local NGO that isn’t a government agency. They also refuse to allow sex workers rights organizations like CoyoteRI to attend these monthly meetings.
In India when they allowed sex workers to monitor the industry and it resulted in reducing the number of minors in the sex industry from 25% to just 2% with a 10 year period.
But why would #endhumantrafficking change course now, when there is so much money to be made off criminalizing the labor of sex workers, while leaving our youths to live in the streets.