The readers’ forum

Close down exploiters’ access to girls

 

In the midst of the recent government shutdown, U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rosa DeLauro put forth a bipartisan effort to focus on a crisis unfolding in our country — the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

On Oct. 22, a bipartisan group of 79 House members co-sponsored a House resolution titled, “Our Daughters Are Not For Sale.” The resolution condemns child trafficking and encourages law-enforcement agencies and others to eradicate these practices and to help victims.

It not only represents a growing concern and political advocacy on behalf of the issue, it also demonstrates collaborative efforts that help counter many Americans’ view that elected officials acted like spoiled children during the shutdown.

The legislation proposes to educate local communities on child trafficking, provides support for survivors, offers the same protections to victims of sex trafficking that child-abuse victims get, urges law enforcement and prosecutors to treat the trafficked girls as victims and not criminals and supports an end to the demand for girls to be used in child trafficking and sexual exploitation.

As a social worker dealing with commercially sexually exploited children, I support the two congresswomen’s efforts. However, I must ask: “What exactly are the elected officials doing to support the end of demand for child trafficking and sexual exploitation?”

The Internet is a popular vehicle for pimps and johns to sell and buy underage girls for sex all over the country. According to the CNN documentary Selling the Girl Next Door, Backpage.com charges $5 per escort ad and was projected to earn more than $20 million from its adult ads alone in 2010.

Backpage is owned by the Village Voice, which presented a new policy on adult advertising in December 2012 stating that its publishers were “implementing stricter standards across the entire Voice Media Group chain, to make sure that our advertising is as ethical as possible.” In the new policy, ads were to contain only headshots and no suggestive language. Yet, the adult ads contain body shots and have explicit enticing language.

Closing down Backpage’s escort section would be a tremendous stride in the nation’s efforts to end the demand for child trafficking and sexual exploitation, as it would eliminate the accessibility to purchase underage girls.

Jacquelin Escobar, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Respect police officers

    Re April 15 article Veteran cop granted bond in U.S. drug-running case: Being a real cop isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. So we take it personally when we lose a fellow cop and when we are unfairly tainted. When a cop does wrong, as we know, cop bashers will use it to attempt to tarnish the profession. The bad acts of an individual cop do not and should not represent the profession any more than the bad acts of a civilian criminal should define their race or ethnicity. Serving and protecting comes at a high price. Each year about 60,000 assaults on cops occur resulting in about 16,000 injuries. On average this past decade, 160 cops died yearly in the line of duty just doing their jobs. Yes, the 160 may make the news but the 16,000 and 60,000 do not.

  • The readers’ forum

    Downtown Miami needs a grand entrance

    Miami has one last chance to create a grand entrance to the city.

  • Bay of Pigs at 53

    One of their American trainers, multidecorated WWII and Korea veteran Grayston Lynch, called the Bay of Pigs freedom fighters, “brave boys who mostly had never before fired a shot in anger.”

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category