The FBI just announced the rescue of children from the sex trafficking trade. Reports say 105 children were saved from a life of prostitution. Children as young were 13 were being used as prostitutes.
The operation known as” Operation Cross Country” took place in 75 US cities. During this morning’s news conference FBI officials said they were trying to” take this crime out of the shadows.”
Assistant director Ronald Hosko with the FBI’s criminal investigative division called this a “threat that robs us of our children.” This was the largest FBI operation so far in the quest to recover children from the sex trafficking trade. 150 people were also arrested as result of the raids. The people arrested in this operation were mostly what official’s referred to as “pimps.” According to the FBI they will be charged with federal crimes as well as additional charges in the states that they were arrested in. The rescue of children from the sex trafficking trade will hopefully be a continuing task for the FBI.
FBI officials said over 290,000 children are at risk of falling into this trade. The state of California says a large percentage of children in prostitution in their state are in the child welfare system. Many of the children grew up in homes where they were abused. In addition to the children many adults were being exploited according to sources. A website called “Backpage” was being used to sell the children for sex.
Runaway children are often enticed into the sex trade. Children can be lured into the sex trade by compliments of offers of food and shelter. Soon after children start into this situation the can find themselves trapped into a cycle of drugs and abuse with no clear way out. ECPAT USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), an Anti-Trafficking agency, estimates that children as young as nine years old.
The sex for sale lifestyle is not something these children choose. Something puts them here. Some come from broken homes. Some are “lost” in the foster care system. Some children run away then end up on the streets. They turn to the first person that is nice to them. By the time they find out what they have gotten into its too late. Beatings, starvation and little sleep become a way of life. Pimps are their “daddy” and the pimp controls their life. He tells them when to sleep and what to wear. He tells them how much money to make, and what will happen if the cash comes up short.
The rescue of children from the sex trafficking trade is something we should all be concerned about. These children have a right to the freedom we all should possess in this country. Being sold into sex slavery is nothing anyone should endure.
The Guardian Express is following this breaking event and will keep you updated.
Written by Kevin Reid