Council committee takes stand against ads linked to sex-trafficking

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August 2, 2012 by Sarah M

A City Council committee approved a resolution this morning calling on Village Voice Media (owner of the City Pages) to end the publication of the adult section of Backpage.com — its online classified section.

All of the 20 juvenile sex-trafficking cases investigated in 2012 have involved youth advertised via Backpage.com, according to Minneapolis Police.

Assistant Police Chief Janee Harteau and City Attorney Susan Segal briefed Council members on the city’s efforts to fight child sex-trafficking. Along with stepped up enforcement of prostitution laws, city leaders have been working with community partners to develop a service network for the victims of sex trafficking. They have also reached out to Minneapolis hotels to train staff to look for signs of trafficking.

Most of the youth involved in trafficking are runaways.

“There could be kids right now in public libraries with their pimps making dates through Backpage.com,” Segal said at the Council meeting.

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