published Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Tennessee attorneys general ask website to combat sex trafficking

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and 45 other attorneys general across the country are urging Backpage.com, an online classified ad site, to get more aggressive in stopping ads promoting human sex trafficking, especially those that could involve minors.

In a letter to the website’s lawyers, released publicly today, the attorneys general said that Backpage.com claims it has strict policies to prevent illegal activity.

Yet, officials said in their news release, the chief legal officers of several states have found “hundreds of ads” on Backpage.com’s regional sites “that are clearly for illegal services.”

The letter states the hub for illegal sex ads is a magnet for those seeking to exploit minors and points to more than 50 cases in 22 states over three years involving the trafficking or attempted trafficking of minors through Backpage.com.

Tennessee has had “numerous instances” of suspected human sex trafficking, generally with arrests from one end of the state to the other in the past few years, according to Cooper’s office.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation noted in a joint study with Vanderbilt’s Center for Community Studies that “human trafficking and sex slavery in Tennessee is more common than previously believed possible.”

The May 2011 study said Tennessee is attractive to traffickers because of its geographic location and closeness to interstates and larger cities.

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fdtate said...

Instead of asking the website to stop running ads promoting illegal activity, why don't the attorneys general ask law enforcement agencies to use the ads to investigate illegal activity?

September 1, 2011 at 12:51 a.m.
CCAHT said...

Just wanted to provide an article to show that law enforcement is investigating the illegal activity. We just had a bust where two GA young ladies were trafficked and law enforcement was able to rescue them. Backpage was at the center of it all. http://www.wate.com/story/15381013/2-women-rescued-from-tennessee-sex-trafficking-ring It is important to note that we are responsible as a community to raise awareness and make it harder to traffick. Johns should be held accountable for supplying the demand and our laws will hold the traffickers responsible.

September 2, 2011 at 11:06 a.m.
CCAHT said...

If you are interested in getting involved with anti human trafficking efforts in Chattanooga, you can contact www.secondlifechattanooga.org

September 2, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
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