Stop Online Exploitation

Stop Online Exploitation

Victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in America are caught in a world they did not make or choose. They are trapped in lives of constant violence, abuse and fear. Today, the majority of prostitution and human trafficking crimes in the United States are happening on the internet – which means these criminals have infiltrated every neighborhood in America. In fact, they come directly into your home through your computer.

The superficial changes recently made by Craigslist do nothing to rid the web of exploitation and human trafficking online. Craigslist, an internet company well known for enabling users to conveniently list classified ads, discussion forums, and services in very specific geographic regions, agreed to remove ‘erotic’ services from its online listings.

However, on the very same day they made this agreement, the site added a category called ‘adult,’ which openly offers sex for sale in every community in America. Removing one word from one website will not stop online exploitation and human trafficking.

The more difficult task is to address the thousands of websites offering sex for sale everywhere, in every town in America. Because of the constantly growing number of criminals using the internet to sell human beings, it has become extremely easy for anyone to go online and buy someone for sex. In fact, the internet is now a virtual mall for selling young women and men.

The truth is that at this very moment, the forced exploitation of young people is exploding in the United States. Recent findings from the FBI place the number of domestic victims of commercial sexual exploitation at over 300,000 each year.
Yet, this explosion is not happening on the streets. It is happening online. According to Federal law enforcement studies, only 10-20% of today’s prostitution is street-based. Cloaked by the anonymity of the internet, the commercial sexual exploitation of victims in the United States is surging. It is no longer hidden away on dark corners and in back alleys. It is now readily available on any computer through mainstream websites like Craigslist and thousands of other sites openly offering sex for sale.


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