Washington CNN -- Craigslist has "no plans" to running adult services that contribute to child sex trafficking in the United States, an official with the online advertising site told a House panel Wednesday. However, the erotic services remain available to Americans on the company's foreign sites, including its Canadian site, acknowledged William "Clint" Powell, the director of customer service and law enforcement relations at Craigslist.
Powell's remarks to a House Judiciary subcommittee responded to testimony that the internet has greatly expanded child prostitution and child sex trafficking. In particular, witnesses cited online advertising sites such as Craigslist and back.
In late August, attorneys general in 17 U. Craigslist stopped running adult services on its U. Under persistent questioning by subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, Powell conceded that someone in the United States could access the Craigslist site in Montreal to contact a pimp offering prostitute in the United States.
Powell said such a scenario was unlikely, noting that traffic for adult services migrated to other services such as back. People who post such "have decided that there is no value in using Craigslist anymore, so they are using other sites," Powell said.
Child sex trafficking abetted by internet technology is a growing scourge of American society, with at leastteenagers believed lured into prostitution and "sexual slavery" each year, the panel was told earlier at its hearing on domestic minor sex trafficking. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, noting human trade is the third largest global criminal enterprise, behind drug and gun trafficking.
Most Americans believe the problem exists overseas in developing countries, but Maloney said it occurs in neighborhoods across the country. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, noted vehicles cruise for teen prostitutes in some of the upscale areas of Chicago. Jackie Speier, D-California, told the committee that the internet brought a rapid escalation of the problem by allowing easier access to child prostitutes.
While Craigslist shut down its "adult services" s in early September, other sites like back. Craigslist argues it has had a vigorous approach to vetting adult services .
It said that in the 15 months before closing the adult services section altogether, it rejectedbecause they violated the web site's rules, including advertising prostitution and being "indicative of an underage person.
Now is she 18 or 17?
Is she 22 or 12? Panel members at Wednesday's hearing discussed possible steps the government could take to combat the problem, including better funding of law enforcement efforts and services for victims of the sex trade. All agreed that targeting customers driving the demand for the child prostitutes should be targeted, and that teenagers involved should be treated as victims instead of delinquents or runaways.
Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey. He noted a program involving airline flight attendants and crew members who get training to detect young people being trafficked across borders or state lines.
When the airline workers saw something that "just didn't look right," they notified law enforcement officials who intervened and "those young girls were rescued," Smith said, citing a specific incident. Share this on:.
Jackie Speier, D-California. Most Popular.
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