8/5/2013 -- New York Times -- "Prosecuting Sex Buyers" Equality Now New York Director Lauren Hersh speaks out on the need to address demand in the fight against sex trafficking.
To the Editor:
Re “F.B.I. Charges 159 Men With Forcing Teenage Girls Into Prostitution” (news article, July 30):
While the widespread arrests were an important step to help break up child prostitution rings, the elimination of sex trafficking can’t happen exclusively through victim rescue and by arresting pimps. To get to the root of the crime, the demand for commercial sex must be exposed and eliminated.
Without sex buyers, there wouldn’t be sex trafficking. Currently, however, buyers are not being prosecuted under federal law. Representatives Ted Poe and Carolyn Maloney and others have introduced an important bill that would remedy this by expanding the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to penalize those who solicit or patronize sex trafficking victims.
As you report, 105 prostituted children were rescued, but countless others remain victimized. To eradicate this exploitation in its entirety, Congress must pass this bill so that buyers can no longer fuel the market with impunity.
-- Lauren Hersh, NY Director, Equality Now