CNN ran a huge story about child sex trafficking on Craigslist, making them one of the first major news outlets to report child sexual exploitation on the popular website on such a scale. Andrea Powell of anti-trafficking NGO FAIR Fund compared Craigslist with Walmart. And she couldn’t be more right. Craigslist has become as ubiquitous a place to buy sex with 12-year-old girl as Walmart has to buy a stainless steel napkin holder at 11:30 at night.Two young girls sold for sex on Craigslist wrote letters to CEO Jim Buckmaster and Craig Newmark. One of them, M.C. who was first forced into prostitution at 11, told them she was forced to post her own ads to Craigslist during the day, and then answer them at night. Her pimp drove her around the country for years, using Craigslist as the primary means to advertise her. If she didn’t post on Craigslist, M.C.’s pimp would beat her and dunk her in ice water baths. The website was a central figure in the years of slavery and abuse she suffered.
Craigslist has claimed it has taken corrective action in the US…but what about elsewhere?
- Four Out of Ten Canadian Provinces Ask Craigslist to Close Erotic Ads (humantrafficking.change.org)
- Craigslist Petition: Remove Adult Sex Ads Worldwide (nowpublic.com)
- Feeling Burned By the Press, Craigslist Hunkers Down (readwriteweb.com)
- ‘Micro-brothels’ used to hold child sex workers (cbc.ca)
- Craigslist Is Like the Wal-Mart of Online Sex Trafficking”
by Amanda Kloer August 04, 2010