Judges need to clarify policy on teen prostitutes’ clients: report

court justice hammerSentencing policy toward people who are found guilty of having sex with under age prostitutes needs to be clarified, says the government’s special reporter on human trafficking and sexual violence against children.

Sentences currently range from community service or a token day in jail to nine months in jail, Corinne Dettmeijer’s report says. In addition, judges give wildly differing reasons for their sentences.

For example, in the recent Valkenburg hotel sex case involving a 16-year-old girl, the men were given reduced sentences because they had not looked for a minor to have sex with.

However this undermines the protection the law is supposed to provide to teenagers,  Dettmeijer says. She wants the legal system to ‘work towards more clarity in the motivation of sentences and more uniformity in sentencing’.

Since paid sex with 16 and 17-year-olds became an offence in 2000, 61 people have faced court, half of them in the current year.

However, over the past five years 432 16 and 17-year-olds are thought to have been forced into prostitution. This means the true number of clients is greatly under-represented in the figures, Dettmeijer said.

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