Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anti-Child Prostitution Campaign Says Actions by Craigslist 'Not Enough'

/PRNewswire/ -- A Future, Not A Past--the campaign to stop the prostitution of children in Georgia--believes Craigslist is not doing enough to stop the use of its service by pimps to sell sex with children, it's campaign director said today.

"Somewhere in Atlanta tonight, a child will be prostituted because Craigslist refuses to immediately pull the plug on ads that make the exploitation of the child possible. Craigslist has reportedly said such ads will remain on their site until they expire next Wednesday. As if protecting our children should be governed by an expiration date. That's not good enough for the children of Georgia, or any state in the country," Kaffie McCullough, the campaign's director said.

Ms. McCullough said the campaign has research indicating that almost half of child prostitution in Atlanta occurs through ads placed on Craigslist.

"One key element of stamping out child prostitution and the sexual exploitation of young girls is to disrupt a pimp's ability to find customers. Our research shows that Craigslist has, as a matter of simple fact, been a critical link in the chain between the John, the pimp and the child prostitute," Ms. McCullough said.

Spearheaded by the Juvenile Justice Fund, A Future, Not A Past is a statewide campaign to stop the prostitution of girls in Georgia by building a barrier between children and those who seek to harm them through commercial sexual exploitation.

The campaign is addressing child prostitution in the state through a four-tiered strategy of research, prevention, intervention and education.

Craigslist has announced it will eliminate the "Erotic Services" category, replacing it with a new adult category of online classifieds that are to be reviewed by the Web site's employees.

Ms. McCullough says that alone is not enough.

"We are pleased that Craigslist has taken this step. This is a start, but it is only a start," Kaffie McCullough, the campaign's director said.

Ms. McCullough said the latest research by A Future, Not A Past shows 200 adolescent girls were advertised for sex on Atlanta's Craigslist site in February of this year--the highest number reported since the campaign started studying the site in August of 2007.

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