Real help for exploited kids

This is about thoughtful, helpful legislation that, according to the New York Times's editors, offers "a blueprint that federal lawmakers would do well to follow." New York's governor, David Paterson, just passed the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, which presumes "young children arrested for prostitution are victims of sexual exploitation." These are children likely to have fallen into prostitution "after being driven from their homes by abusive or neglectful parents." Those born in New York will be given the kind of protection that US federal law has long given exploited children who come from foreign countries and now needs to provide for those born on US soil. Under New York's new law, "sexually exploited children will be placed under state protection and sent to safe houses for services that are usually unavailable in detention, including counseling and medical help." The law doesn't go into effect until 2010 while the services it calls for are being set up.

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