SACRAMENTO—The Governor has signed into law AB 1702 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) to protect children who have been forced into sex work from reunification with their abusers.
“Vulnerable children who enter foster care deserve to rebuild their lives free from abuse,” said Stone. “This new law will help ensure that the system does not punish abused minors for the crimes of their abusers.”
The new law will add the sexual exploitation of a child for commercial purposes to the list of circumstances under which family reunification is foregone when a child is brought into foster care. It provides additional legal protections to foster youth who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation at the hands of their own parents or guardians. Further, it provides new protections in state law that such foster youth are not placed at risk of further exploitation by the very system that is supposed to protect them.
AB 1702 is one of several measures in Stone’s legislative package designed to help minors who have suffered from sexual abuse. The measure takes effect on January 1, 2017.