Congress Holds Hearing on Child Sex Trafficking

On Wednesday, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on DOMESTIC child sex trafficking.

At the hearing, former Congresswoman Linda Smith testified that more than 100,000 children are exploited in the sex trade in the United States every year:

“Domestic minor sex trafficking is the name we have given to the sexual exploitation of U.S. citizen children through prostitution, pornography and sexual entertainment,” she said. “The name reflects the fact that this exploitation is human trafficking as defined in the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The crime therefore is a federal crime of trafficking and the victims should receive the full range of protections, services and rights outlined in the TVPA.”

Smith explained that victims of domestic minor sex trafficking – both girls and boys (whose average initial exploitation age is 13) – are frequently treated as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes. These children are trained by their pimps to lie to the authorities and are often provided with phony identification, which often boosts their age.

Also at the hearing, Criagslist announced that they were permanently suspending their “adult services” ads in the United States.

Visit the Committee’s website for links to the witness list and hearing testimony.

2 Replies to "Congress Holds Hearing on Child Sex Trafficking"

    September 18, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Thanks, Jim.

    I’ve always wondered in my practice of Children’s and Family Law and some criminal and juvenile defense in Massachusetts why we treated children having sex with adults as victims in one context and criminals in another. I hope the former congresswoman’s testimony will get the trafficked children to be treated as victims on this side of the justice system as well.

    Mike Rich

  • Steve Hines
    October 3, 2010 (10:02 am)

    When are we going to see some consistency on these types of things? Treating these kids as offenders is clogging up the system and ignoring the fact that there are some very real criminals who are getting these kids involved in this kind of activity to start with.

    Tougher stances have to be taken with the predators out there who are preying on kids. Whether it is the pimp putting 14 year old girls to work or the john who is purchasing those services. The predators need to face serious penalties and be put off the streets.

    It seems like these arrests begin and end with the kids and never progress into full fledged investigations to cut off the head of the snake to prevent future victims from being preyed upon.