One of the most veil and heinous scourges of humanity, especially in the vast expanses of America, is the practice of human trafficking.
Smuggling people around our nation occurs at an alarming rate, with an incredibly disturbing number of these victims being children who are being exploited for sex.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimated that between 240,000 and 325,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year. Children who are considered runaways are at particular risk of prostitution or of being trafficked into the sex industry. Of the 1,682,900 children who were considered runaways for a period of time in 1999, 71% were considered at risk for prostitution. 1,700 of those reported actually engaging in sexual activity in exchange for money. David Finkelhor, a University of New Hampshire professor who is director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, said “I wouldn’t put any stock in these figures as indicators of what is going on today”.
The act of human trafficking is so egregious and terrifying that it becomes difficult to understand how it could even happen in the first place. Many Americans live in such relative luxury to the world of these villainous cretins that they would be unable to recognize their tactics occurring within arm’s reach.
And it’s not is if these criminals don’t understand just how vulgar and horrific their acts are. They are just concerned about your perception of their activities as you are, and there are highly evolved and cryptic ways in which these operators operate.
One of those modus operandi was classified advertising website Backpage.com, which was recently seized by the federal government in their ongoing war against human trafficking.
Backpage was the target of allegations that it facilitated sex trafficking and prostitution through its adult section, a controversy that took years to unwind and culminated in the arrest of the company’s CEO and eventual removal of the adult section.
“The FBI can confirm that law enforcement activity is occurring,” a spokesperson for the FBI’s Phoenix field office told The Verge. The office referred further questions to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last month, Congress passed controversial legislation meant to give law enforcement more power to stop online sex trafficking. Backpage became a central part of the discussion around the legislation, which many sex workers opposed.
This is just another example of the Trump administration returning law and order to our nation in a big way. Backpage’s possible complicity in this sort of behavior had been somewhat of an open secret within the mythos of the internet for some time.