Human Traffic Watch

Report: Minn. should spend $10M to shelter young sex trafficking victims

In Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm
Sex trafficking victim advocates say they have seen their clients being trafficked outside their offices on the corner of 1st St. and 1st Ave. E. in downtown Duluth, seen here on Jan. 8, 2013. Duluth Mayor Don Ness has declared January Trafficking Awareness Month in the city. (MPR photo/Dan Kraker)

Sex trafficking victim advocates say they have seen their clients being trafficked outside their offices on the corner of 1st St. and 1st Ave. E. in downtown Duluth, seen here on Jan. 8, 2013. Duluth Mayor Don Ness has declared January Trafficking Awareness Month in the city. (MPR photo/Dan Kraker)

 Minnesota lawmakers agreed two years ago to treat sexually exploited children as victims, not as criminals.

Now comes the hard part.

The state Department of Public Safety has released new recommendations on how to respond to the unique needs of children and teens who are sold for sex. The report recommends that the Legislature allocate nearly $10 million to help build a comprehensive system of housing and care for some of the most vulnerable juveniles.

The two-year-old Safe Harbor Act goes into effect next year, but the trickiest part has always been the question of where to put the children.

“Sometimes we have locked up juveniles because there was no safe place for them to go,” said Sgt. John Bandemer of the St. Paul Police.

Source: MPR

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