FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2013
For comment from Miami Attorney Phil Gerson, National Center Board member, please contact:
Child sex-trafficking victims in the Miami area are often arrested for prostitution or other crimes—but are not identified as victims.
These traumatized children are more likely to be liberated from their captors when police, attorneys, and immigration officials are trained to recognize child victims, how to interview them, and how best to connect them with the emergency housing, counseling and the child welfare services they need.
In National Crime Victims' Rights Week (April 21-27) The National Center for Victims of Crime is calling for law enforcement to work with victim advocates to better serve these children who are trafficked for sex in Florida, and other states across America.
“Law enforcement can be the first line of protection for these vulnerable children,” said National Center Board member Phil Gerson.
“When police and other officials can identify trafficked kids and divert them from prosecution to victim services, we are saving lives and making our communities safer,” he said.
President Obama has identified human trafficking as priority area for law enforcement in America.
For information on work being done to help survivors of child sexual abuse in your community see: Kristi House's 7th Annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon, April 26, 2013 and Project Gold which focuses on raising awareness about the reality of children being bought and sold in prostitution and pornography.
For more information about how law enforcement can develop protocols to identify and deal with child trafficking victims see: Annie E. Casey Foundation Forum on Crime Victims’ Rights and Juvenile Justice Reform.
US Department of Justice Report: Law Enforcement Response to Human Trafficking and the Implications for Victims.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.