CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk's office is leading the effort to help end child sex trafficking on the Internet. On April 12, 2012 Senators Kirk, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) wrote to over 40 advertisers on Village Voice Media, requesting the organizations use their economic influence to shut down the sex trafficking section. The following organizations responded to the Senate letter, committing to end or prohibit future advertisement agreements with Village Voice Media:
- Live Nation
- Crown Imports
- Children's Wish Foundation
- Mayo Clinic
Senator Kirk, along with 18 other U.S. Senators, wrote to Village Voice Media asking them to protect kids and shut down the “adult entertainment” section of the site. Despite numerous demands, Village Voice Media has refused to take the section down.
Senator Kirk, along with six other U.S. Senators, has introduced a resolution "expressing the sense of the Senate that Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC should eliminate the 'adult entertainment' section of the classified advertising website Backpage.com."
What You Need to Know About Child Sex Trafficking
Sex Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.
An estimated $9.5 billion is generated in annual revenue from all trafficking activities, with at least $4 billion attributed to the worldwide brothel industry. (Ibid.)
An estimated 2 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion dollar commercial sex industry. (UNICEF)
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. (UNICEF)
Around the world between 50 and 60 percent of the children who are trafficked into sexual slavery are under age 16.
Human trafficking is the second-largest organized crime in the world.
25 percent of all child sex tourists around the world are U.S. citizens.
The largest number of people trafficked into the United States come from East Asia and the Pacific (5,000 to 7,000 victims). The next highest numbers come from Latin America and from Europe and Eurasia, with between 3,500 and 5,500 victims from each. (U.S. Departments of Justice, Health & Human Services, State, Labor, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 2004. Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)