This paper examines the civil rights of youth who are missing or discharged from foster care and become victims of sexual exploitation. It also addresses future implications of this epidemic, given demographic patterns of the United States, if we do not address this issue now. Section II describes the demographics of adolescents in foster care. Next, Section III addresses the sexual exploitation of this population. Section IV describes the legal framework of the foster care system and legislation pertaining to sexually exploited youth. Section V analyzes the constitutional rights of foster youth who become victims of sexual exploitation and draws analogies to similarly situated groups whose rights have been more firmly established by federal courts. Finally, Section VI concludes that adolescents in foster care have a constitutional right to be free from state action which puts them at risk for sexual exploitation.

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