Community Resources

No Wrong Door

A Comprehensive Approach to Safe Harbor for Minnesota's Sexually Exploited Youth

Legislative Authority

Under federal law, a person under the age of 18 who has been induced to perform a commercial sex act is a victim of a severe form of human trafficking. 1 However, many state prostitution laws allow for the prosecution of juveniles who engage in the same behavior, despite the exploitation these children experience from pimps and commercial sex abusers. 2 In addition, many state laws don’t contain adequate penalties to curb the demand for purchasing minors for sex or provide for effective services for youth victims.

Because of this, End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT-USA3) developed, and is currently promoting, model safe harbor legislation designed to correct the differences between state and federal law. This legislation sends a strong message that our society and legal systems should treat children used in systems of prostitution as victims of a crime who need effective services to deal with the trauma they have experienced.