End Demand for Child Sex Trafficking
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal industry with children accounting for roughly half of all victims.
Recently enacted federal legislation clarifies that all commercially sexually exploited minors are victims of sex trafficking under federal law, whether the child is sold or bought for sex.
D.C. has yet to clarify its law and extend this same protection to children in the District of Columbia.
We, the residents of Washington, D.C. request that you, our City Council, pass a new law to end the demand for human trafficking of minor children in the District of Columbia.
We specifically request that the D.C. "End Demand" bill:
- Define and establish the crime of "Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Child"
- Clarify that minor children who are purchased for sex are victims, not prostitutes
- Prohibit buyers of sex with minors from using the defense, "I thought s/he was 18"
- Assess a much higher penalty for purchasing sex with a minor than with an adult, and
- Require convicted buyers of sex with children to register as a sex offender.
This new legislation will strengthen D.C.ís laws addressing the demand for commercial sex with children by raising the stakes for buyers of sex with minors and ensuring better protection of vulnerable children.