Sen. McCaskill conducts hearing on sex trafficking investigation

2 years 7 months 1 day ago Thursday, November 19 2015 Nov 19, 2015 Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:23:00 AM CST November 19, 2015 in News
By: Chinmay Vaidya, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

WASHINGTON- Senators Claire McCaskill and Rob Portman held a hearing Thursday on its sex trafficking investigation of Backpage.com, an online advertisement site. The investigation looked into Backpage.com's adult services advertising pages. 

Yiota Souras, senior vice president of the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children (NCEMC), testified 71 percent of child sex trafficking reports submitted to the NCEMC tipline relate to Backpage.com. Souras cited several Backpage.com business practices inconsistent with the center's standards. 

"Backpage does not consistently or uniformly take down ads from its site when the ad is reported for potential child sex trafficking," Souras said. "Backpage does not appear to search and does not report ads linked by a name, photograph, email address, telephone number or credit card to a previously reported child sex trafficking ad."

Deputy Attorney General Darwin Roberts said, although Backpage isn't the only site with adult services advertising, the business appears to be the leader in that space. 

"Although there are many websites that host “escort”/prostitution advertising, Backpage.com appears to play an especially significant role in the sector," Roberts said. "According to various media reports, Backpage.com became a market leader for “adult services”-type advertisements in the wake of Craigslist’s 2009 decision to end its adult services advertising."

McCaskill said Backpage has not shown any effort in preventing sex trafficking because it has built a strong business on the ads.

"We have received information indicating that Backpage a hugely successful business, in part by posting advertisements of children and other victims of human trafficking on its website," McCaskill said. "Despite knowing that its website has hosted advertisements of children being sold for sex, Backpage has apparently signaled to its moderators that those ads should remain on the site." 

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center said there were 290 calls regarding human trafficking and 55 cases of human trafficking reported in Missouri in 2014. The NHTRC said 39 of the 55 cases were related to sex trafficking and nine were related to labor trafficking. Nanette Ward of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition said the hearing is one step in the right direction to stopping human trafficking. 

"It's important that we continue educate young children on the dangers of human trafficking and understand that the demand for these services is still there," Ward said. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman is now waiting for a jury to decide his fate.... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Fashion designer Kate Spade will be buried Thursday in Kansas City, where she was born.... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The black bear population in Missouri is growing, and with the growth comes an increased chance for a... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:19:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU received a one million dollar grant as part of an inclusive initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK - All Mizzou fan's eyes are on the NBA draft, which begins Thursday night, and who will pick... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Last week, a giant dust storm on Mars took up about a quarter of the Red Planet. Now,... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:26:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid overall lower enrollment numbers, the UM Board of Curators will vote on the FY 2019 budget at... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 1:28:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After an armed robbery at Deco to Retro and Vintage Clothing on the Business Loop June 15,... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:52:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force seized 14 pounds of marijuana, four... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:40:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
8pm 69°
9pm 67°
10pm 66°
11pm 66°