Human Traffic Watch

Prop. 35 and the War on Sex Trafficking

In Human Trafficking on September 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

That’s why I’m disappointed with Prop. 35, which, much to his credit, Kelly has bankrolled with $1.86 million out of his own pocket. It fails to hold accountable those that enable online sex trafficking of under-age girls (and boys).

Like Backpage.com, a website owned and operated by Village Voice Media, which also happens to publish SF Weekly, LA Weekly and OC Weekly. It was identified last year by the nation’s 50 state Attorney’s General as an online “hub” for sexual trafficking in minors.

Indeed, the “adult” section of Backpage.com has classifieds not only for San Francisco, LA and Orange County, but for more than 30 cities and counties throughout the Golden State. And the advertisements for “escorts” in every one of the cities and counties include girls that almost certainly are juveniles, who are blatantly selling their sexual services.

What I find particularly outrageous is Village Voice Media’s defense of its facilitation of online child sex trafficking. The company’s thinking, with respect to the ads that appear on Backpage.com, “is very libertarian,” said company CEO Jim Larkin.

Well, it is libertarian to oppose government bans on advertising of lawful products and services, like cigarettes, liquor, guns, gambling. And it is arguably very libertarian to oppose restrictions on advertisements of products and services that some think ought to be legal – like adult prostitution.

But not even the very, very libertarian go so far as to defend online sex trafficking of the under-aged, a niche dominated by Backpage.com.

Now, I do not know why Kelly, who has expressed concern about the Internet being used by sex traffickers, did not include a provision in Prop. 35 that would crack down on companies doing business in California that knowingly enable such trafficking.

Source: City watch

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