Juvenile Prostitution Increasing in Georgia, USA
Monday, October 5, 2009 2:45 PM

The Juvenile Justice Fund, a nonprofit based in the U.S. state of Georgia, has embarked on a statewide campaign called “A Future. Not a Past” to combat juvenile prostitution. 

Experts estimate that between 100,000 and 3 million juveniles in the United States are currently involved in prostitution, but the actual number is difficult to determine because prostitution activity is illegal and underreported.  “A Future. Not a Past” hopes to obtain a more accurate count of the number of juvenile prostitutes in Georgia by using the same probability measures scientists use to track endangered species populations.

So far, the research has shown an overall increase in the number of juveniles involved with prostitution since 2007.  While the number of juveniles associated with prostitution activity on the street, in hotels, and with escort services has not changed, the number of juveniles involved with prostitution activity on the internet has skyrocketed. Craigslist has removed the “erotic services” category of its website, but advertisements for juvenile prostitutes remain widely available on other websites.

The United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act was enacted to protect juveniles from being recruited, harbored, provided, transported or obtained for the purpose of a commercial sex act, which includes prostitution. Georgia statute § 16-5-46 provides that:  "A person commits the offense of trafficking a person for sexual servitude when that person knowingly subjects or maintains another in sexual servitude or knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of sexual servitude."  Sexual servitude is defined as "any sexually explicit conduct for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to, or received by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under the age of 18 years."

Compiled from: Diane Loupe, Georgia Takes Count of its Prostituted Juveniles,” Women’s eNews (5 October 2009); William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008; and Georgia Statute § 16-5-46.