Sen. McCaskill conducts hearing on sex trafficking investigation

4 years 6 months 1 week 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 — MU's Office for Civil Rights & Title IX is investigating a Snapchat video that was widely criticized... More >>
52 minutes ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 12:51:48 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Two hair stylists at the downtown location of The Clip Joint have tested positive for COVID-19, KOMU 8... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 9:11:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CENTRALIA – Corsages and boutonnieres filled Chance Gardens in Centralia as high school students lined up to take their prom... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 7:19:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. -- The Camden County Health Department said Friday a Boone County resident who has tested positive for... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:08:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Love Coffee received a surprise $10,000 donation from the Veterans United Foundation on Tuesday. The nonprofit will use... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 4:37:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 3:00:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians marched and held signs in Columbia on Friday morning to bring awareness to police brutality against African... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 1:52:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CLARKSBURG, Mo. - Two people were arrested in Clarksburg, Mo., on drug charges after a search on May 21, according... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 1:32:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 12:46:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s only abortion clinic will be able to keep operating after a state government administrator decided... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri River is expected to reach moderate flood stage in Jefferson City, Glasgow and Hermann this weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 11:30:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in Weather
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:39:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- A student at the West Location of Tiger Tots Academy has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:37:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – During his daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday, Governor Mike Parson announced an extension of the phase one reopening... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 8:42:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As Boone County moves into the next phase of reopening, hair salons can now open their doors to... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:17:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City Manager of Columbia announced plans to further cut city budgets due to the effects of COVID-19.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:42:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:40:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - While other sports adjust the game plan to respect social distancing, some are just playing things business... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:16:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
2pm 74°
3pm 74°
4pm 75°
5pm 75°