Friday, September 4, 2009

Child Victims of Human Trafficking in King County Need Your Help!

I recently learned, much to my great disappointment, that funding for a shelter and trauma center for sexually exploited children and youth (MIDD Strategy 17b) has been cut from the 2010 King County budget. Upon further research (primarily thanks to Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center), I learned that under Federal and Washington State Law minors involved in the sex industry are considered victims of human trafficking. An estimated 500 children and youth in King County fall into this category. However, the County's current system does not treat them accordingly. Minors arrested for prostitution are processed through the juvenile court system - treated as criminals instead of victims. This system does not serve the children and youth involved. They do not have the opportunity to receive the care and counseling they most need. After reviewing MIDD Strategy 17b, I feel the plans outlined there DO serve the best interests of those involved.

This is an excellent opportunity to speak out on behalf of sexually exploited children right here where we live!

Please take the time to review Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center's web page devoted to this issue. You will find more information about the issue of human trafficking in King County, a sample letter to a County Official, and contact information for County officials. Also on the page is a link to the actual text of MIDD Strategy 17b. You can make a difference by emailing or calling the representative from your district and the County Executive.

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