April 14, 2016 update: No need to sign the petition anymore! The Associated Press changed their stylebook as requested in the petition. A bit THANK YOU to those of you who signed this petition. Read this article for more information.
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How we talk about child victims of sex trafficking matters! The Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls) has created an online petition, asking the Associated Press to stop using the phrase “child prostitute.”
The words of a young woman who was trafficked:
I was not a child prostitute or child sex worker. I was a victim and survivor of child rape. And so are the other kids out there now who are being bought and sold for sex. They are victims and survivors of child rape.
But, too often, when the media reports on child sex trafficking, or attempts to tell our stories, the way we are described mislead the public about what is happening to trafficked children.
Based in Washington, D.C., Rights4Girls works to make the lives of U.S. young women and girls a human rights priority. They advocate for the dignity and personhood of young women and girls—so that every girl may possess the right to be safe and live a life free of violence and exploitation. For more information, go to: www.rights4girls.org/