Congressman Bob Turner (NY-09) introduced House Resolution 646 putting pressure on Backpage.com, which is owned by Village Voice Media, to eliminate the adult entertainment section of their classified ad website. Many cases have been reported of the site being used for the sex trafficking of young boys and girls as well as adult prostitution.
"The adult section of Backpage.com has been shown to be a hub for the despicable act of human trafficking. We cannot allow the site to continue to serve as a means of advertisement for criminals and sexual predators. The executives at Village Voice Media cannot continue making a profit off of this illegal activity. This section of Backpage.com should be taken down immediately."
The effort to have the adult section of Backpage.com removed has received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Congressman Turner believes that Village Voice Media will take the section of the website down. However, he also believes that will only be a temporary solution and that Congress and the business community must look into ways to prevent these types of activities in the future.
"I believe that the owners of the site will heed the requests from Congress and take the adult section down. But we cannot celebrate the victory and walk away from the issue. We have an opportunity to work with members of the business community to develop a solution that will protect our children from this type of exploitation."
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. The estimated average age of victims forced into prostitution for the first time is between 12 and 14 for females and 11 to 13 for males. The National Association of Attorneys General has tracked more than 50 cases of trafficking or attempts to traffic minors on Backpage.com. The site is also reported to be the leading website for prostitution advertising in the United States.
Congressman Bob Turner represents New York's 9th Congressional district and serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and House Committee on Homeland Security.