Stop children from being sold on-line for commercial sex

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!


To:          President Donald J. Trump

                Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House

                Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader

                Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip

                Senator Charles Schumer, Senate Minority Leader

BACKGROUND:

Backpage.com and other internet sites are making millions of dollars each year by selling ads that feature the sale of underage children. The New York Times explains that “A devastating new subcommittee report shows that the company (Backpage.com) protects pimps from their carelessness by deleting things that a girl is underage. For example, if a pimp tries to post an ad for ‘Lolita,’ ‘little girl,’ ‘school girl,’ or ‘amber alert,’ those terms are automatically stripped from the ad – but still posted, so the girl will still be sold for sex.” {1} One Backpage document indicated that by 2010, more than 70 percent of its ads in the adult section were being edited like that, suggesting that the company was far more involved in manipulating content than it ever let on. {2} Operating in nearly 900 cities worldwide, Backpage.com grosses approximately $150 million dollars a year. An independent appraiser estimates its worth at around $626 million dollars. {3}

THE PROBLEM:

The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 13 and it is estimated that at least 100,000 children are commercially sexually exploited and sold in the United States daily. While Backpage claims that they have closed their “Escort Ads” section, they have, in actuality, only moved them to “Women Seeking Men” section of their website.

The 21st century has altered how people connect. The commercial sex industry has moved from street corners and back alleys, to computer screens and smart phones. The internet has been identified as the number one platform that traffickers use for the buying and selling of children in the United States. Today, it is just as easy to order a child online for commercial sex as it is to order a pizza. It is more profitable to prostitute a child than to sell drugs or guns because children are easily exploited and reusable. Commercially sexually exploited children are often given quotas by their pimps to service 10 to 15 buyers a night. During key sporting events like the Super Bowl, a child may be sold as many as 45 times in a twenty-four-hour period.

THE RESOLUTION:

Congress must amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act; (CDA), to close the current loophole that permits sites such as Backpage.com to sell children without any legal consequence. Part of Judge Bowman’s December 9, 2016 ruling in favor of Backpage.com said, “…Congress has precluded liability for online publishers for the action of publishing third party speech and thus foreclosure from prostitution and an affirmative defense at trial. Congress has spoken on this matter and it is for Congress, not the Court, to revisit.” {4}

Executives should be arrested, put on trial, imprisoned and subject to property seizure as accessories to human trafficking. Victims sold on these sites should be granted the right to sue and be awarded restitution from these businesses and executives. Let us make it unprofitable to sell human beings on these sites.

On April 3, 2017, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, along with Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Ed Royce (R-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Martha Roby (R-AL), and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS). This bill would finally lift the legal barriers that have prevented the Federal Government, States, and Victims to seek justice. We are asking Congress to vote on and pass this bill. We are then requesting President Trump to sign this bill into law. Trafficking leaves behind damaged souls and bodies. No child should be forced to sell his or her body to strangers many times a night for someone else’s profit. Please help us put a stop to human trafficking.

Respectfully submitted,

Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking

 

{1&2} Sourced from the New York Times, 1/1/22017, Nicholas Kristof

{3} Newsweek, 11/10/2016 – 10:00 AM

{4} Jane Doe No. 1 v.Backpage.LLC.2016 WL963848 (1st Cir.2016)

 

 

 



Today: Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking is counting on you

Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking needs your help with “Rand Paul: Urge Congress to close loop-hole in law that allows kids to be sold online for sex.”. Join Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking and 80 supporters today.