March 2017 – The state of California ruffled both liberal and conservative feathers by passing SB 1322 last September. The law’s aim was to decriminalize prostitution in the case of minors. It did this by amending existing prostitution laws so that they could not be applied to sex workers under 18.
Police officers can still place prostituted children into temporary custody to remove them from dangerous situations or to find out if they are being forced into the sex trade against their wills. This is to help victims get the help they need.
Opponents of the law say it will only incentivize pimps to force more children and teens into the sex trade because these children will not be arrested. Those who pay for sex or traffickers who facilitate the sex trade will still be prosecuted by the law.
Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D) said, “The law is supposed to protect vulnerable children from adult abuse. This is our opportunity to do what we say is right in cases of sex trafficking: stop the exploiters and help the exploited.”
washingtonexaminer.com, 12/29/16; theblaze.com, 12/30/16