The recent child porn ring bust raises a pressing question. What is the punishment for the crime of abusing, exploiting, selling, and degrading children? I feel that a crime of this nature against children is the vilest and demands justice. According to U.S. policy, found in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 the minimum standards against human trafficking are:
- prohibit and punish acts of trafficking
- prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault, for knowing commission of trafficking in some of its most reprehensible forms (trafficking for sexual purposes, trafficking involving rape or kidnapping, or trafficking that causes a death)
- prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter, and that adequately reflects the offense’s heinous nature
- make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking
This is an international campaign working against Human Trafficking. The State Department reports annually on the national and international progress in abolishing human trafficking. (To watch or read this years report.) Every country is expected to adhere to the four “minimum standards” stated above. The United States amended the penalties for selling people into “involuntary servitude” by doubling the years of imprisonment from 10 years to 20 years. Also, they added, “the possibility of life imprisonment for such violations resulting in death or involving kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to kill”. There is a concentrated effort nationally and internationally to regulate human trafficking and modern slavery, but is 20 years enough? If your child was forced into the hands of a trafficker, mistreated, poorly fed, and had their childhood stripped from them, would you feel that 20 years was a fair penalty?