Fighting Child Prostitution 2008 05 30 NOW on PBS avi
Child prostitution is on the rise not just in other countries around the world, but right here in America. The Department of Justice says, on any given day, tens of thousands of children across America are involved in prostitution. But what\\\'s being done to stop it?
This week NOW on PBS visits Atlanta, Georgia to see how one American city is handling the tragic phenomenon of child prostitution. It is one of 27 American cities where the problem seems to be spinning out of control.
\\\"It\\\'s one of those issues that doesn\\\'t get discussed and therefore there\\\'s an assumption that perhaps either it doesn\\\'t exist at all or the young women and girls who are prostitutes are there by their own free will,\\\" Atlanta\\\'s Mayor Shirley Franklin tells NOW.
About two years ago Mayor Franklin launched an aggressive campaign in her city—where the adult entertainment industry is booming—to crackdown on pay-for-sex customers, or \\\"Johns.\\\" She\\\'s also launched an ad campaign to raise awareness of the problem of child prostitution and ordered her police department to develop better ways to protect children caught up in the trade.
\\\"[The child prostitutes are] ten or 11 years old, and the age is getting lower. We\\\'re not talking about 17 and 18 and 19 year olds, although we could,\\\" Franklin says.
One would think fighting child prostitution is a cause everyone could get behind. But the battle against this epidemic in Atlanta has been difficult, and the more NOW on PBS dug into the story, the more challenges we discovered.
\\\"Girls were coming into juvenile court and talking about the same pimp .... and they had names that were branded on them, not tattoos. These are brands. To show ownership of the young person,\\\" says Alesia Adams, a former children\\\'s advocate for Atlanta\\\'s juvenile court system.
Can we stop a child prostitution epidemic in our own country?
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