Ashton Kutcher’s recent testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his efforts to end sex trafficking has gone viral.
The popular actor has been working to end modern-day slavery for some years now. Back in 2009, he helped found Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that builds software to fight human trafficking.
He currently serves as Thorn’s chairman, a role that has allowed him to meet trafficking victims and learn the heartbreaking stories of others. His voice shook with emotion as he shared how girls as young as 2 are raped by adult men:
Sex trafficking isn’t a problem that is only happening “over there,” in far-off countries or exotic locations.
It’s also happening in your backyard.
But how are predators finding their victims? How are pimps trafficking children here in the U.S.?
That’s a question this month’s edition of Focus’ Citizen Magazine answers with its reporting on a 20-month investigation into Backpage.com.
Federal investigators concluded that Backpage.com – which bills itself as a free classifieds site – has been systematically coaching pimps for years on how to sell underage girls for sex.
While it’s difficult to know precisely how many children have been trafficked through Backpage, Citizen reports that, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 73 percent of the 15,000 calls it gets on its hotline each year concern Backpage. That’s nearly 11,000 children a year, and those are just the ones reported to a single federal agency; many are not.
Focus on the Family takes the trafficking of children very seriously. We’ve posted the special coverage by Citizen Magazine online for you to read:
- Suffer the Children: An introductory look at what’s going on
- Shut Down: A look into the legal attempts to stop the evil at Backpage.com
- Turning the Page: The story of a documentarian determined to expose what’s done in secret – and a family who is sharing its trafficking story
This is just a sample of the high-quality stories you can find in Citizen Magazine – news that’s told from a biblical worldview. Learn more about what Citizen Magazine has to offer, and how to subscribe.