Roberts Calls for Legislation Barring Minors from Strip Club Employment
PROVIDENCE – Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts today expressed outrage that state law allows minors to be employed as strippers or erotic dancers. According to today’s Providence Journal, there is no state law barring a minor from working as an exotic dancer, provided that minor meets all other regulation for minors in the workforce. “Allowing children to be exploited is reprehensible,” said Roberts. “I recently spent time with my 17-year-old daughter jumping through bureaucratic hoops so she could work as a camp counselor this summer, and even in this capacity, she is limited in her scope of work. To think that any minor could just as easily be employed as a stripper is mind-boggling. This must come to an end immediately.” State law currently prohibits minors from being employed in any number of hazardous professions, as well as an explicit prohibition of prostitution by minors. However, the law is silent on stripping or exotic dancing. “I hope we can close this loophole right away, if not sooner. My office is looking forward to working with the General Assembly and the Department of Labor and Training to address this issue as soon as possible,” Roberts added. Earlier this year, Roberts announced her support for pending legislation that would outlaw all prostitution in Rhode Island and strengthen the prohibition of trafficking persons into Rhode Island for the purposes of the sexual commercial activity.