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Equality Now has just issued Women’s Action 40.1 (March 2012) – Global: Call to end facilitation of sex trafficking by Village Voice Media – calling on Village Voice Media, the owner of Backpage, to stop facilitating and profiting from sex trafficking by shutting down its “adult” advertisement section.
In 2009, pornographic nude photographs of a 14-year-old runaway girl, “M.A.”, began showing up on the website Backpage.com, a classifieds website selling everything from used sofas to opportunities for sexual exploitation. Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC (Village Voice), the owner of Backpage.com webpages around the world, willingly hosted the posting placed by M.A.’s pimp advertising her services as an “adult” escort for sex, providing an easy way for men to contact her pimp and make arrangements to rape M.A.
Regardless of attempts by Village Voice to screen out ads that promote sex trafficking, its ads continue to result in the rape of women and girls. Just last month, a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped and sold by traffickers on Backpage via “adult” ads that included nude photographs, proving the ineffectiveness of Village Voice’s efforts.
Sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that violates the human rights of women and girls around the world. According to the United Nations, women and girls make up 98% of sex trafficking victims, and about 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade. The internet is now the most frequently used platform that traffickers and “johns” use to buy and sell women and children for sex in the U.S.
As a widely-used and well-known website, Backpage through its corporate owner Village Voice must end its complicity in the rape and exploitation of girls and women. Equality Now calls on Village Voice to abide by international human rights principles and demonstrate corporate social responsibility by shutting down its “adult” advertisements on Backpage.com and in its newspapers.
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|1068||Thu Oct 10 20:11:13 EDT 2013||Anonymous||North Vancouver, BC , CA|
|1067||Thu Oct 10 19:30:27 EDT 2013||Rachel Prior-Tsang||Vancouver, BC , CA|
|1066||Thu Oct 10 17:36:59 EDT 2013||Jackie Lynne||Vancouver, BC , CA|
|1065||Mon Jun 24 14:41:31 EDT 2013||Anonymous||Chehalis, Select a state , US|
|1064||Fri Jun 21 07:07:55 EDT 2013||Anonymous||Sandy, United Kingdom|
|1063||Sun May 12 23:16:40 EDT 2013||Autumn Burris||Encinitas, CA , US|
|1062||Wed Apr 24 17:32:22 EDT 2013||Gabrielle Thomas||Santa Monica, CA , United States|
|1061||Mon Apr 15 11:11:59 EDT 2013||Mathieu Caron-Fournier||Longueuil, QC , Canada|
|1060||Wed Apr 10 01:12:00 EDT 2013||Tory McCrea||Austin, TX , United States|
|1059||Thu Mar 28 10:05:00 EDT 2013||Harriet Miller||Edmonds, WA , US|
|1058||Fri Mar 22 09:50:04 EDT 2013||Elizabeth Hyer||Swampscott, MA , United States|
|1057||Wed Mar 20 15:16:21 EDT 2013||Harriet Miller||Edmonds, WA , US|
|1056||Tue Mar 19 13:24:38 EDT 2013||Marlene Hester||New Orleans, Select a state , US|
|1055||Thu Mar 14 00:27:56 EDT 2013||Lisa Collins||Bellingham, WA , US|
|1054||Sun Feb 24 09:57:15 EST 2013||French Guevarra||Bergenfield, NJ , US|
|1053||Tue Feb 19 12:33:18 EST 2013||Sheena Visti||Garfield, NJ , US|
|1052||Fri Jan 11 19:41:56 EST 2013||Kyla Hodges||Stamford, CT , United States|
|1051||Mon Dec 03 23:27:18 EST 2012||Anje Scarfe||ADELAIDE, SA , AUSTRALIA|
|1050||Fri Nov 30 17:20:41 EST 2012||Chelsea Bennett||VIC , AUSTRALIA|
|1049||Tue Nov 27 19:07:44 EST 2012||Claire Hickey||LISMORE, NSW , AUSTRALIA|
|1048||Fri Oct 26 06:59:45 EDT 2012||Sue Carr||Coventry, United Kingdom|
|1047||Sun Oct 21 14:37:14 EDT 2012||Ranaye Schrantz||Osceola, WI , US|
|1046||Sun Oct 14 17:52:29 EDT 2012||Judith Haynes||VT , United States|
|1045||Sun Oct 14 17:07:18 EDT 2012||Judith Haynes||VT , United States|
|1044||Sun Oct 14 12:37:17 EDT 2012||Lena Ostroff||Southampton, Select a state , BM|