In our work to stop sex trafficking of youth, we must be comprehensive and not just focused on changing one aspect of this depressive violation of rights. Changing the law to protect the vulnerable and to punish the violator is positive. But it is not enough! It may even be distracting of what else must be done. I agree with the comments of Rachel Lloyd “we need to focus on prevention and vulnerability, increasing and strengthening services for runaway and homeless youth and significantly reform our child welfare systems. We need to ensure that young people over the age of 18 have access to affordable housing options, living wage employment, career opportunities, continuing education, affordable child care, and long term supports for their stability, leadership and growth. We need to support community-based, grassroots, survivor-led and survivor-informed programs that work with victims and survivors that actually work. And most of all, we need to recognize that adding more money to systems that already fail our youth isn’t the answer. We need real revolutionary radical change that takes into account the realities of our young people’s lives”.
Systemic transformation is the goal. Our work to ensure that our youth have access to what they need to live a good life will be key to ending this evil.
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