New Online Child and Teen Protections

Leading hubs for trafficking in the sex trade, including teens and children, have been effectively shut down by recent legislation about which Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, posted an online article. An excerpt follows:


Across the web, online administrators are hitting “delete” on sex ads…, and mainstream websites like Craigslist and Reddit are removing their “Hookers” and “Personals” sections which acted as thin veneers for sex trafficking and prostitution advertisements.

This legislation was sparked by the powerful momentum of the documentary I Am Jane Doe, which spotlights the stories of sex trafficking survivors fighting for justice against these multi-million dollar websites, and it was championed by survivors….

For years this law thwarted sex trafficking survivors’ attempts to sue websites like Backpage.com — a website which garnered 99 percent of its income from ads for sex, and which refused to take down ads of known child sex trafficking victims according to a U.S. Senate investigation. Online sexual slavery auctions were in effect a protected class of crime, a tragedy compounded by the fact that 73 percent of child sex trafficking victims referred to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children were sold online….

After removing its Personals section, Craigslist, for many years a go-to site for sex trafficking, stated: “Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day….”

…. raising the barrier to entry for the sex trafficking market is a step in the right direction. This measure, before it <was> signed into law, decreased profits in the lower tiers of trafficking. Now law enforcement should focus its resources on the more sophisticated (and more damaging) organized crime components of trafficking….

For the full article, click here.

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