The laws for our children . . .

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Children's Rights
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This post is one of several discussing this subject.  You may also want to read  Crimes against children . . .

There are volumes of  laws and people and groups that exist for the purpose of helping children.  They include laws that define what is a crime against a child, laws for protecting children, and laws establishing punishment for crimes done to children. 

While looking into this subject, I wanted a definition of the “purpose of law,”  and relate it to the special circumstances with children and evaluate whether the laws are doing what they are intended to do.  Some of the summarized definitions of the purpose of the law are listed below:

  1. The laws defines what  is “harm to others” and determines if harm has occurred.  Harm may be in the form of violating a person’s life, liberty or property.
  2. Preventing an individual or group of people from seizing control without authority.
  3. The Law is a contract between people who are living within a society.  All people in the society must live by the rules of the law.  In return the individual benefits from the relationship with society.
  4. To ensure the laws created by the majority do not violate the rights of the individual, as guaranteed by the Constitution
  5. Punishments are defined by the law

The definitions are pretty broad, but should serve the purpose of this evaluation.  First of all children are citizens in this country and are protected by the same Constitution that protects adults.  Children should have protection of their life, freedom and property.    In this evaluation the law is supposed to prevent any individual or group  from taking control without authority over children. All citizens of society, whether they be adults or children, must live by the same rules of the law.  If an individual conforms to the laws then he can have the benefits from that society.  The laws are also there to ensure that the majority, such as adults, do not violate the rights of an individual, such as a children.  The law also includes the punishments for individuals or groups of individuals conducting crimes against children.

As I said earlier, the United States have many laws in place for the purpose of protecting children’s lives, freedom and property.  As it relates to the importance of law, Plato explained,  “Mankind must either give themselves a law and regulate their lives by it or live no better than the wildest of the wild beasts.”  The following are examples of the laws for one state  and some federal laws that relate to crimes against children:

State Laws

948.015 Other offenses against children.   948.53 Child unattended in child care vehicle.
948.02 Sexual assault of a child.   948.55 Leaving or storing a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a child.
948.025 Engaging in repeated acts of sexual assault of the same child.   948.60 Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
948.03 Physical abuse of a child.   948.605 Gun-free school zones.
948.04 Causing mental harm to a child.   948.61 Dangerous weapons other than firearms on school premises.
948.05 Sexual exploitation of a child.   948.62 Receiving stolen property from a child.
948.051 Trafficking of a child.   948.63 Receiving property from a child.
948.055 Causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity.   948.70 Tattooing of children.
948.06 Incest with a child.  

Federal Laws

948.07 Child enticement.   Section 1073. Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP) or Giving Testimony
948.075 Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.   Section 1201. Kidnapping
948.08 Soliciting a child for prostitution.   Section 1204. International Parental Kidnapping
948.085 Sexual assault of a child placed in substitute care.   Section 1462. Importation or Transportation of Obscene Matters
948.09 Sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older.   Section 1465. Transportation of Obscene Matters for Sale or Distribution 
948.095 Sexual assault of a child by a school staff person or a person who works or volunteers with children.   Section 1466. Engaging in the Business of Selling or Transferring Obscene Matter 
948.10 Exposing genitals or pubic area.   Section 1467(a). Criminal Forfeiture 
948.11 Exposing a child to harmful material or harmful descriptions or narrations.   Section 1470. Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors 
948.12 Possession of child pornography.   Section 1591. Sex Trafficking of Children or by Force, Fraud, or Coercion 
948.13 Child sex offender working with children.   Section 2241. Aggravated Sexual Abuse 
948.14 Registered sex offender and photographing minors.   Section 2243. Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Ward 
948.20 Abandonment of a child.   Section 2251. Sexual Exploitation of Children 
948.21 Neglecting a child.   Section 2251A(a)(b). Selling or Buying of Children 
948.22 Failure to support.   Section 2252. Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors 
948.23 Concealing death of child.   Section 2252A. Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography 
948.24 Unauthorized placement for adoption.   Section 2253(a). Criminal Forfeiture 
948.30 Abduction of another’s child; constructive custody.   Section 2254(a). Civil Forfeiture 
948.31 Interference with custody by parent or others.   Section 2257. Record Keeping Requirements 
948.40 Contributing to the delinquency of a child.   Section 2260(a)(b). Production of Sexually Explicit Depictions of a Minor for Importation into the United States 
948.45 Contributing to truancy.   Section 2421. Transportation Generally 
948.50 Strip search by school employee.   Section 2422. Coercion and Enticement 
948.51 Hazing.   Section 2423. Transportation of Minors 
    Section 2425. Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information About a Minor 

 It is a long list.  Look at it again.  Look at it closely.  It represents a very shameful facet of our society.  Once I started looking at it, I was surprises how much of an effort is being made to protect the children in our society from those individuals who are deviant and the dredges of our society.  I probably shouldn’t call it “protection,” because these laws are pretty much a reaction to events that have already occurred.  There really needs to be a method of “preventing” these things from being done to our children and to our future. 

I wonder, how has it came about that we have people in our society that sexually assault, traffic, abduct, molest, and sexually exploit the members of our society that represent innocence and purity… that have no real method of defending themselves in these circumstances . . . that do not have the knowledge to even understand these crimes against themselves.  In many cases the children may not even recognize that the action is a crime, and sometimes blame themselves for the crime.  A child should never be put in the position to have to save themselves from these perpetadors.  It really pains me when I look at this list of laws.  I am glad the laws are there, but it is not enough… not for my child… not for your child… or for the child that lives down the street. Something needs to change here.  We need to take responsiblity and make that change happen.

 [Please hang in there with me; there is a purpose for this post and the list of laws provided.  In the next week ot so look for the post Terrorizing our children . . .]

to be continued . . .


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