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Monday, February 1, 2010 - 10:22am

Unterman: Proposed Law Could Help, Not Punish, Child Prostitution Victims

Child prostitutes should not be charged with a crime, but rather get help and be treated as victims. That's the idea of a bill being drafted in the state Senate.

Advocates say each month 400 children are being prostituted in Georgia.

They want them to be treated as victims and get rehabilitation services.

Now Republican State Senator Rene Unterman is pushing legislation that would decriminalize child prostitutes.

She says they are victims and need help.

"Now we have a system of care therapeutic services for young girls and boys - 12-13 years old. I have seen a 10-year-old girl. Now tell me this is not wrong."

The idea is drawing opposition from Christian Conservatives who say decriminalizing prostitution is the wrong method to rescue victims of human trafficking.