Thursday, February 25, 2010

Durbin and Alvarez Speak Out Against Child Prostitution and Sex Trafficking

CAASE commends U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for their strong statements in support

of child victims of prostitution and sex trafficking.

The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation urges the passage of "The Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2009."

On February 24, 2010, Senator Durbin hosted a hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law titled, "In Our Own Backyard: Child Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the United State." Senator Durbin stated in his opening remarks, "We have created a legal dichotomy in America in which the federal government views prostituted children as victims, yet most states treat them as criminals. If state laws treated child prostitution more like human trafficking, then state social service agencies would play a more important role in helping this vulnerable population."

In her testimony, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez stated, "When it comes to prosecuting child prostitution, my office, in practice, does not charge juveniles who are arrested on prostitution-related chargers. We understand this child is not a criminal but rather a victim who needs support, services and a safe future."

We also appreciate the State's Attorney's work towards creating a system where traffickers of children can be held accountable and focusing on demand. "Equally as important, my human trafficking team is building direct coalitions with social service providers and other NGO's, thus enabling such groups to assist police during HT takedowns and share their investigative leads with law enforcement... this networking plan has cast a wide net, including simple things, such as attending breakfast meetings, to participation in more formal events, such as the launch of the End Demand Campaign of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.," said State Attorney Alvarez.

We commend Senator Durbin and State's Attorney Alvarez for these poignant words and look forward to working with them to ensure that child victims of sex trafficking receive the support that they need.

· Please TAKE ACTION to support federal legislation that will increase resources for child victims of sex trafficking. Go to:

· To hear the hearing in its entirety and to download copies of their statements, please click here

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