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SCR-102 Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Awareness Week.(2013-2014)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Concurrent Resolution
No. 102


Introduced by Senator Yee
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Olsen and Pan)

March 25, 2014


Relative to commercially sexually exploited children.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCR 102, as introduced, Yee. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Awareness Week.
This resolution would recognize April 21, 2014, though April 27, 2014, as California’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Awareness Week.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, President Obama declared January 2011 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in National Freedom Day on February 1, 2011; and
WHEREAS, President Obama called “upon the People of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery,” and that fighting this scourge is a shared responsibility; and
WHEREAS, Our nation was founded upon the principle of freedom, and we affirmed this principle with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution that guaranteed people within our borders protection from slavery; and
WHEREAS, Americans are committed to individual freedom and will do all that they can to help eliminate modern day slavery, which includes human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, Human trafficking can occur in many forms. Sex trafficking, a modern form of sex slavery, is one type of trafficking that men, women, and children are subjected to; and
WHEREAS, The United States Department of State’s “Trafficking in Persons Report 2013” describes how the United States is a growing magnet for traffickers to conduct their illegal and inhumane business; and
WHEREAS, Americans widely recognize children as a vulnerable population worthy of, and in need of, protection from those who would seek to take advantage of them, and children are not currently safe from commercial sexual exploitation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that 100,000 children are sold for sex each year in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Despite national, state, and local efforts to address sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation is a growing industry; and
WHEREAS, California is a prime destination for human trafficking, along with other states including New York, Texas, and Nevada; and
WHEREAS, California’s large international border, numerous ports and airports, and overall large economy make children in this state particularly vulnerable to human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature has recognized January 2013, and each January thereafter, as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and has recognized February 1, 2013, and each February 1 thereafter, as California’s Free From Slavery Day; and
WHEREAS, Forms of child sexual exploitation include child sex trafficking, child pornography, and child sex tourism; and
WHEREAS, Children in California are particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. The FBI has determined that three of the nation’s 13 High Intensity Child Prostitution Areas are located within California in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego; and
WHEREAS, Children who fall prey to sexual exploiters are frequently those with prior involvement in the child welfare system. The California Child Welfare Council reports that 50 to 80 percent of victims of commercial sexual exploitation are or were previously involved with the child welfare system. Many of these children have a history of sexual abuse; and
WHEREAS, Commercial sexual exploitation of children in California was previously perceived as primarily an international issue, the domestic nature of this problem is becoming increasingly evident. California’s nine human trafficking task forces identified 1,277 victims over two years, 72 percent of whom were from the United States; and
WHEREAS, Commercial sexual exploitation of children usually begins during adolescence. For boys, the average age of onset is between 11 and 14 years of age, and for girls the average age of onset is between 12 and 14 years of age; and
WHEREAS, It is presumed that many more cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children are not identified. The concealed nature of these crimes poses a barrier to identifying and rescuing commercially sexually exploited children. Raising awareness is vital to addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and
WHEREAS, Children who are or were commercially sexually exploited often suffer chronic health problems. This includes high rates of mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and sleep disorders. Sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and AIDS are the most common medical consequences of commercial sexual exploitation of children; and
WHEREAS, Many commercially sexually exploited children are funneled into the juvenile justice system as delinquents rather than focusing on providing intervention and rehabilitation services as victims; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature recognizes the vital role California can play in preventing, and one day ending, this modern day sex slavery of children; now, therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes April 21, 2014, though April 27, 2014, as California’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Awareness Week; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls upon all Californians to follow the charge of the Congress of the United States to adopt the approach of the “4Ps—prosecution, protection, prevention, and partnership,” in order to end sex slavery of children; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.