Child Prostitution

Mayors of nearly 50 cities across the country are urging Village Voice Media to require identification for people posting escort ads on its Backpage.com — an online ad service that has come under scrutiny from authorities for allegations that it's used to promote child prostitution.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.

The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.

The Washington State Attorney General wants a top provider of online adult sex ads to prove it’s operating legally, calls Backpage.com a hub for human trafficking.

Photo courtesy of Women's Funding Alliance.

Two years ago, the city of Seattle got the results of a harrowing study: it estimated as many as 500 children in King County are involved in prostitution

More recently, FBI sweeps have found more girls victimized here than anywhere else in the country. Seattle is identified by the FBI as one of the top ten human trafficking centers in the country - due in part, perhaps, to more effective law enforcement.  

FBI photo.

Does Seattle have more child prostitutes than other cities? During a three-day crackdown, the FBI picked up more young prostitutes in this area than anyplace else. But, there could be another reason for the high number.

The latest FBI sweep, called Operation Cross Country V, resulted in the arrest of 99 pimps. Agents also rescued 69 teenage prostitutes. Twenty-three of them were from our area, in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.