I’m sure most of us are familiar with Craigslist, the online Web community where people post job opportunities, items for sale, and find activity partners. Over the past years, Craigslist has grown by leaps and bounds and now has websites representing over 300 U.S. cities. However, despite its millions of users and various social benefits, there’s a dark side of Craigslist that most users don’t see. In the “Erotic” section, human traffickers have found Craigslist to be one of the most efficient, effective, and free ways to post children and women for sale.
This happens in the United States every day, as well as in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In one recent case, two Chicago women were charged for selling girls as young as 14 years old on Craigslist. The girls were forced to have sex with 10-12 men per day, and the traffickers made tens of thousands of dollars. A Boston man and his niece were charged with plotting a child trafficking operation with teenagers as young as 13 by selling them on Craigslist to predators from Massachusetts to New York. These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, law enforcement efforts to fight trafficking nationwide are consistently reporting a spike in online Craigslist ads, and how sex trafficking has “moved online” lately.
The Craigslist for Washington, DC is one of the most active, with an average of 500 sexually oriented ads per day. As Chon points put:
A significant percentage of these ads on Craigslist do not advertise solely “legal escort services” as Craigslist may like to believe. Instead, a considerable percentage of the ads are a thinly veiled guise for one of the many faces of human trafficking that exists here in the United States. Although Craigslist may convince itself that it has created a beneficial online venue for advertising legal escorts, in effect, what it has done is create a fertile ground for traffickers to further their trade in human misery.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that slavery is a thing of the past, part of the terrible history of the formation of the United States or something that we can read about in our history books and shake our head with sorrow and regret. Slavery is alive and well today. Twenty-seven million people are currently enslaved.
You are not for sale. I am not for sale. No one should be for sale. Become a modern day abolitionist. Join the fight against slavery.
To find out what you can do, go to the Not For Sale website. You can download Not For Sale, an Abolitionist’s Guide and subscribe to The Underground free online magazine. You can support their efforts financially by donating directly or by buying from the Freedom Store.