tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 16, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
i will start again. given the tensions that were created by the threat of the burning of the koran in florida recently, and now the french parliament has voted to ban on wearing the bur cut in france -- the burhka in france, has that affected the safety of troops in afghanistan? with the parliamentary elections coming up saturday in afghanistan, how satisfied are you that the disastrous results that marked the last election will be repeated or not, and whether the risk of fraud has been contained? what will you be looking for. . .
such a speech or words, you cannot go higher. in france, we had no reaction from and no arab city showing any hostility concerning that. i do not think this provocation, the provocation, what happened in florida, i do not think it puts the troops at high risk because they're already at high risk. >> with respect to the elections, first of all, there has been a lot of preparation.
the ballots have been distributed to the voting stations. the afghans have, based on the briefings i received, the afghans have a capable and competent security plan for the elections. we will provide support as needed, obviously. i think it is important to remember that despite the problems with the election last fall, there was a significantly larger number of voting stations open to the public then in the first election in 2004. there are a few hundred, based on what i have read, a few hundred you're for this election -- a few hundred fewer
for this election. there are still a lot of polling stations opened. i think there is a capable security plan. you have a lot of these parliamentary seats that have as many as 10 candidates running. that means nine people are going to be unhappy after the election. so, we will just have to wait and see. i think that there is a good adjudication process that has been put in place, so i hope that we will see a credible election in which improprieties are at a minimum. >> one last question. mr. minister, concerning iran
[unintelligible] have you mentioned a way to make these sanctions even more unbearable and difficult for iran? >> we did talk about it and i think that, certainly our view is that the sanctions, first of all, the un security council resolution provided a legal platform for individual countries to then take even more severe actions against the iranian regime. we have seen them do that in
that time since the resolution was passed. i think our discussion today was really about the fact that the sanctions have ended up being more effective and more severe than perhaps we might have expected before the un resolution was passed. i must say i also took the opportunity to thank the minister for france's strong leadership, both in the u. n and in the eu in terms of trying to get more countries to adopt more severe sanctions. >> yes, indeed. our analysis is that the sanctions that resulted, beyond the resolution by the united nations, european union, korea,
japan, other countries have committed themselves to stronger sanctions. you will see that today a debate is starting to exist within a leading iranian political groups. when i spoke with members of congress this morning, all of us are convinced of one thing. we have to display absolute determination, a total will that will not tell -- will not fail, and we should show absolutely no weakness in our resolution. the iranians had months and
months to change their behavior. there was an extended hand by president obama. they did not grab that extended hand. these economic sanctions way as much as possible so as to bring iran to be more responsible. france's condensed -- france is convinced that nobody should display any kind of weakness. >> thank you. >> former republican vice- presidential nominee sarah palin will be in iowa tomorrow night for the annual ronald reagan dinner in the morning. we will have live coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. the former alaska governor will be joined by iowa senator chuck grassley and former iowa governor terry branstad.
book tv saturday night, bill clinton joins former british prime minister tony blair for a discussion of their years in office. that is on c-span-2. >> now a house hearing on a child sex trafficking in at the u.s. we will hear how these cases are handled. this is about three hours. >> the subcommittee will come to order. we are hearing about sex trafficking and the deterrence
specific to a 2010 bill. today, we will discuss an issue that is not only difficult to comprehend but also a tragic, the domestic, commercial exploitation of children, many of them united states citizens. in june of this year, the young lady from new york and the gentleman from new jersey introduced this bill which was the referred to judicial committee. it addresses the need for a comprehensive approach to dealing with sex trafficking of children in the united states and to provide rehabilitative services related to this particular crime. in dafoe -- also authorizes grants and funding to provide improvements to the national crime information system to track information about missing and exploited children. funding is also provided to law
enforcement to improve the investigations, to increase the number of cases brought to trial, and to ensure that access to shelters and services tailored to the needs of the victims of this particular crime are available. at the outset, it is important that we understand this term "domestic minor sex trafficking." it is child sex slavery, a child sex trafficking, prostitution of children, commercial exploitation of children, and rape of a child. the shared hope organization explained the use in an attempt to accurately defining the nature of the offense as well as the status of a minor as a victim rather than a juvenile delinquent, a child prostitute, a bad kid or criminal. we are talking about some of the most abominable dictums of sex
trafficking, children in need of understanding in -- some of the most of all honorabl-- vulnerabf sex trafficking, children of need -- children in need of understanding. approximately 150,000 children are lured into prostitution each year. these child victims come from all races, ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. they come from all socio- economic glasses, male, female, at transgendered, and span all ages. they usually begin at 12 years.
they come from hamas where they have been abused. nearly fit -- they come from houses where they have been abused. nearly 50% are victims of sexual assault or molestation within the family. 74% run away from home prior to arrest. many are in the foster care system or a child protective services. during today's hearing, we will hear testimony about domestic minor sex trafficking and deterrents, and the bill they have introduced to address the growing problem of commercialized exploitation of children. we will also hear from other distinguished members as well as a former congresswoman who has devoted her life to helping victimized children in this country and abroad. we will discuss what is happening to our children and
how they are being victimized, the demand for child sex trafficking, and how the law enforcement community is addressing this, also, the lessons learned that are resulting from the law enforcement community's process. we will hear from representatives that will give us clarification of whether the latest decision to remove "adult services" is permanent. hopefully, they will shed some light on their future plans. at this time, we should discuss what extent the internet plays in facilitating the sex trafficking of miners. thank you to all of the individuals to have contributed their time and experience in
helping us prepare for this hearing. thank you to all of those present for what you're doing to help protect our children. i will now yield to my colleague from texas. >> thank you. the sex trafficking of miners is an incorrigible crime that already exploits children at high risk. i saw this as a judge. the response to human trafficking within the united states is focused on providing assistance to victims of trafficking and on law enforcement efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers. in june, 2003, the fbi in the department of justice, along with the national center for missing and exploited children launched an initiative to
address the problem of sex trafficking of children in the united states. this initiative is the result of approximately 38 task forces and working groups throughout the united states in an effort to bring federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies, including prosecutors and social service providers together, for the purpose of training them. these cases usually begin as local operations targeting various operations, including online advertisements. the initial arrests are usually with state or local charges. it is later that the fbi and department of justice review the case to see a federal charges are appropriate. we should aggressively address the demands of the issue in a
way that targets those who do do the act of trafficking in those to purchase commercial sex. the role of the state and local law authorities cannot be underestimated. prostitution related crimes are generally of a local nature. they're generally investigated and prosecuted by local authorities. however, all law enforcement must address the interstate trafficking problem which is certainly a federal issue. while the goals of eliminating sex trafficking and assisting state and local authorities in this effort are laudable and important, caution must be exercised so that there is not a gradual move toward federalization of local prostitution related crimes. caution must also be exercise to ensure that the relatively limited amount of resources the
will potentially be available to the victims of this crime is spent on those who have truly been victimized. i am concerned about a provision which authorizes grant money to treat so-called john to engaged in sex? -- so-called johns who engage in sex acts with prostitutes. they may have enough money to deal with their issues themselves rather than taking that money away from young victims of sex trafficking. we will hear from experts and a variety of areas, and we are making strides toward a solution. we appreciate our witnesses being here.
we appreciate your diligence, committed efforts on behalf of the victims of this crime. we look forward to hearing your testimony. i yield back. >> -- do you have a statement? >> yes. just to accentuate what you are saying and draw a close to home, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for all in this hearing, but the offenses you describe -- child sex slavery, prostitution of children and the rape of a child among others -- you would like to think or i imagine this would be in some third world country or at least not in nice neighborhoods, but you can go out into lake view, one of the nicest communities in the city of chicago and the nicest areas you'd ever want to live in, you will see social service agencies trying to find the kids, runaway kids, who are
exposed or ball rolled to these offenses are right there and some of the nicest -- exposed or vulnerable to these offenses right there in some of the nicest neighborhoods. unfortunately, they are there from within. the fault lies within ourselves. we have to look at the people who are committing these offenses and recognize that they are not far away. i appreciate all those law enforcement agencies, social service agencies and not a fraud agencies that try to help. >> other members, without objection, will be able to enter statements into the record. we have two distinguished panels with us today. our first panel consists of four members of congress as well as an esteemed
former member. our first witness is carolyn b. maloney who represents the 14th district of malone. she is the first woman to represent them. 111th congress, she
was a senior member of the house financial services committee and the oversight and government reform committee, and a co- founder of the house and 9/11 commission caucus. she is the lead sponsor of h.r. 5575. our second is cumbersome and jackie speer, first elected in april -- our second is congresswoman jackie spear. she authored more than 300 bill signed into law. she serves on three key committees in the house, the committee on financial services, on oversight and government reform, energy independence and global warming.
our next witness will be congressman ted, a prosecutor and judge in houston for over 30 years before presenting the
second congressional district of texas. serving as the victim rights caucus a founder. he has been pivotal in passing legislation to safeguard our children, legislation such as the child creditor act that later became the adam walsh child safety act. and also the needs and issues -- making sure that the needs and issues of the victims of crime are equally addressed. [unintelligible] he currently serves as the ranking republican on three congressional panels, foreign affairs subcommittee on africa and global health. he is also the ranking member on the commission on security and cooperation in europe and the congressional commission on china. he is the author of america's three landmark anti human trafficking laws including the trafficking victims protection act of 2000, a lot designed to
prevent modern-day slavery and enhanced civil and criminal penalties against traffickers. he is a co-sponsor of h.r. 5575. and finally, a former congressman and linda smith represented washington state from 1994-1998. in the fall of 1998, she traveled to mumbai and visited one of the worst brothel districts in the world. this compelled her to found shared hope international. through this organization, she built partnerships with local groups to provide shelters were women and children can live with no time limit. these villages of hope have a holistic approach to recovery, including education and job skills training. in 2007, shared hope international produce a report in documentary featuring
footage of world sexed traffickers and buyers. that documentation found that startling numbers of american children are being trafficked with in the u.s. borders. we will begin at this time with representatives malone. >> thank you. thank you so much, chairman scott, and ranking member judge gohmert, for your leadership. and for being on the front lines of battling this devastating problem that is found in the backyards of american cities. as co-chair of the human trafficking caucus, i have been working on these issues with representative chris smith and others for many years. today's hearing is an important opportunity to educate people about the reality of the trade in human lives and work towards its elimination. the sex trafficking is the slavery of the 21st century.
human trafficking it is a $10 billion industry worldwide. it is the third largest organization -- organized crime ring in history, proceeding only by drugs and guns. but unlike those, which can be sold only once, the human body can be sold over and over and over again until it is destroyed. too many people believe that child sex trafficking is a problem only in foreign countries, but experts estimate that a minimum of 100,000 children in the u.s. are exploited through commercial sex every year. mr. chairman, as you know, the in demand sex trafficking bill and the force -- the other bill we worked on require the justice department come forward with the study on the problem in the united states. we still have not gotten that study. we know that 400,000, according
to the state department, our traffic internationally, but we have no numbers of the problem that is growing in the united states. although it is hard to believe the average age for first exploitation is a young girl's 12-13 years of age, these are our daughters, their schoolmates, their friends. in fact, this past june, in brooklyn, in new york city, eight people were indicted with charges that they forced girls as young as 15 into prostitution. these young women were recruited from local middle and public high schools. there were threatened with the violence and kept out of contact with family and friends. law enforcement in the york believes that many of the missing children that are reported are literally children that are stolen or coerced into sex trafficking.
there are disturbing stories that come to my office about walking down the street and then coming up and tried to shove girls into cars. and they get away. assume they were shot in the car. then that grow would be one of the missing children that ran away. so i think this is a huge problem in our country. and i thank you for looking at it with this important hearing. despite the needy, a congressional research service report that are requested found that funding for specialized services and support for victims of domestic minority sex trafficking are extremely limited. -- minor sex trafficking are extremely limited. we spend more in our country on the victims overseas than we do in our country. throughout the country, organization specializing in sex trafficking collectively have fewer than 50 beds to address
the needs of we do not know how many victims in our country. and this is totally unacceptable. after hearing from former victims, season it cops and hard-hitting prosecutors about the horrors of domestic minor sex trafficking, i knew something had to be done. working with others, we have introduced the domestic minor sex trafficking deterrent and victims support act of 2010. this bill takes of multidisciplinary cooperative approach to shutting down child sex trafficking and offering rehabilitation for its survivors. through a series of block grants, the bill would provide care for victims and shelter, including specialized counselling, clothing, and other daily needs to keep victims from returning to the streets. it creates a comprehensive, victim-centered approach to addressing this sex trafficking of miners. it aims to ensure adequate
resources for law-enforcement and prosecutors in to rescue victims and put camps behind bars. police across our country do not have the resources. prosecutors did not have resources. it provides funding to implement improvements in the national crime information center which tracks information about missing and exploited children with the core of that -- the goal of identifying the children who are at high risk. the portly, the legislation will strengthen deterrence and prevention programs aimed at potential buyers. it will focus exclusively on minors, those under 18 years of age, increase the share of funding available for shelters. lack of proper shelters often forced law enforcement to send victims to juvenile detention facilities were there -- were there is no access to appropriate services, or releasing them, knowing that they will end up back in the hands of their pimps, .
in july, the caucus held a briefing to address the shift of sexual exploitation from the streets to craigslist and other online venues where children are marketed for sex. the internet has changed the way sex slavery operates, but craigslist announced it is shutting down its adult services section from his website in the united states. i look forward to hearing from the representatives from craigslist as we work together to eradicate this violence and protect our most vulnerable children. i hope we will hear from craigslist today, that they will be shutting down the erotic pages in the more than 250 cities that feature this section. we can no longer ignore that children in this country are being exploited for economic gain.
we have a moral obligation to help the neglected victims of sex trafficking and to crack down on their abusers. thank you very much for this opportunity, and for your studied attention to this. i know from past experience, when you get involved, things happen. thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member judge gohmert. >> thank you very much. >> jackie spears. >> thank you for holding this hearing. this is a human tragedy, a national tragedy. up to 300,000 children in our country are enslaved sexually. the number ris anywhere from 100,000 - 300,000. i attempt to u.s. attorneys. i spoke to the fbi -- i talked
to u.s. attorneys. i talked to the ceo of craigslist. i talked to the national center for missing and exploited children, and i talked to many victims. one victim when i asked, how many times were you forced to do this today? a minimum of 10, a maximum of 15 times a day. she was 17 years of age. to put very simply, houston, we have a problem. it is not just in houston. it is in a glance at, san francisco, oakland, new york. -- it is in atlanta, san francisco, oakland, and the york. there are reasons. first, the internet. today, perpetrators hide behind
their personal computers and have a child at their doorstep with a click of a button. between 2004, 2008, child sex trafficking complaints originating from the internet actually grew by 1000%. and that is just the number of complaints, not the total volume. in fact, estimates are that on craigslist alone there are more than 3.2 million posts on the adult services section a year. and this section has been taken down very recently, but just to give you an appreciation of how widespread this is. further, websites are immune from being held liable for these crimes. in an effort to spark innovation, congress passed the communications decency act in 1996. today, web sites escape liability when an ad on their
site results in child prostitution, rape, or even death. i am pleased to see that our representative of craigslist is your period daughter is a constituent in my district. so i recognize full well what we are taking on here. thinly disguised ads on craigslist received three times the response. when they say, look to the other sides, remember that they have been the 800 pound gorilla in the industry of sex trafficking of children. recent reports speculate that the advertisements that previously appeared in adult services sections will migrate to other portions of the side. let the company not forget that control the activities of their sight. if they are truly committed, they will exercise due diligence. that said, craigslist is not a lone wolf.
redbook.com is equally as horrific. we must consider a response within the confines of the first amendment. child sex trafficking has been decriminalized we passed tough laws and then they sit on the shelves. even though the trafficking victims protection act imposes a lifetime sentence on those convicted of trafficking, it is rarely used in prosecutions. we should all ask the question, why is it? during a seven year period, 60% of child exploitation cases presented to the u.s. attorney's office, 60% have been declined prosecution. meanwhile, in contrast, just 15% of drug trafficking and 26% of weapons charges were declined. why the disparity?
our priorities are clearly out of balance and perpetrators are taking full advantage. in fact, a pimp selling four children can earn over $600,000 a year. today, we live in a country where a person is more likely to go to jail for selling marijuana than for selling a child in sex. in san francisco, where my district is located, only one fbi agent is assigned to work with law enforcement. the u.s. attorney's office in the name of curtailing sex trafficking. further, the inability to bring trafficking to justice is directly tied to inadequate victims services. corals were rescued from prostitution typically come from -- and girls who are arrested for prostitution typically come from an abusive household.
victims were rarely report the identity of their trafficker because they fear retaliation. these children have been traumatized. they have been brainwashed. they have been abandoned. and they need specialized services and resources for a successful recovery. it is a travesty that only five residential facilities specific to this population exist across this country. ongresswoman malone;''s bill is important, but the money should be increased tenfold. again, thank you for taking up this very serious issue. >> thank you. >> chairman scott, and ranking thank youny haywardjudge gohmer for a holding this hearing. we're only beginning to hear about the sex trafficking that preys on our children in the united states.
as co-chair of the victims of rights caucus along with my friend from california, we are concerned about the treatment of domestic crimes sex trafficking victims appeared the fb. the fbi calls it the most overlooked and under investigated form of child sexual abuse in america. why is this the case? according to the fbi, it is because too many people believe that child prostitution is a victimless crime and that the children involved are criminals themselves this kind of thinking is absurd. these children are victims of crime. the man that by the young girls for sex are guilty of exploitation and abuse and they are criminals. and the traffickers are the filth of humanity and they are criminals. as one of friend of mine said,
when you see one, judge ,, rope. a houston is one of the main hubs. in recent years, the city has made strides towards addressing this issue. we have one of the 42 human rescue alliance groups in the country in houston. together with the fbi, they have rescued 140 domestic victims. numerous traffickers have been prosecuted receiving life sentences. i met with the human trafficking alliance. included in this group as a law- enforcement leader in texas. he and his officers told me that one of the biggest issues they face in combating trafficking is how to care for the victims. more specifically, they told me there is better care available to international trafficking victims that the rescue and
houston then there is for our own citizens that are traffic. consider what is available to an international trafficking victim. and i am not saying we should not help these victims, but here is what is available. they are eligible to apply for a visa which allows them to stay lawfully in the united states. immigrants service groups help them apply for free legal, medical, mental, housing and educational services. they can receive care in a residential facility or a long- term foster homes. basically, we provide care to international trafficking victims. here are the resources available to the victim of domestic trafficking in houston. at the moment, law enforcement agents come across these victims they are required to take them into custody. once in custody, domestic refiner -- minor victims can only gain access to these services being labeled as delinquents and charged with the class b misdemeanor of
prostitution. to gain access to short-term services, i have to be arrested, obtain a criminal record, before they can be served. furthermore, the short-term services did not begin to address the severe physical or psychological trauma that these girls encounter. without access to specialized care, it is shown that they return to their traffickers and continue the cycle of abuse because they have no other place to go. we need in houston and throughout the nation all long- term residential treatment facility to care for victims of domestic minor trafficking. any legislation that addresses this issue must include this component. we have made improvements in caring for the victims better traffic across our border, as we should. we need to ensure that we are doing the same for our own children. and those that expose these children -- exploit these children, hold them accountable. thank you very much.
>> thank you. >> mr. smith? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and a thank-you to the ranking member for convening this very important hearing on domestic human trafficking. mr. chairman, i want to thank you for this hearing. we were able to pass the megan's law recently. it prevents those who abuse children and others to sex crimes. before they travel abroad, the countries of destination are guys in a timely fashion. you helped us get as -- get that through the judiciary committee. the legislation would make it difficult for those who commit sex crimes and exploit children abroad to get into the united states. if we have that information, and it is actionable, if we can get this law passed all over the world, we can protect our children from these predators
who make their way to the united states. in the trafficking victims protection act, severe forms of human trafficking is defined as sex trafficking in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which a person and used to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. any person under the age of 18 and involved in commercial sex x is a trafficking victim. and those who exploit and abuse these individuals can be subjected to long prison sentences including up to life imprisonment itself. at the time of our first trafficking law, we had no idea how many domestic victims this trafficking problem, this new modern-day slavery actually included. the excellent work of linda smith of share quote international -- share hope international, and research at the national center for missing
and exploited children has the number of domestic victims at at least 100,000, and the average age when they first got exploited in this fashion was 13. 13 years old. these are our daughters. these are our children. driven by demand and fueled by the ease and secrecy of the internet, we are facing a huge and escalating crisis of child sex trafficking in the united states. the fbi has coordinated the innocence lost initiative with local law enforcement, state prosecutors, and social service providers since 2003 to fight domestic minor sex trafficking. using this framework, the fbi conducted at least four cross country raids to catch pimp and rescue sex workers and working the streets. they rescued over 100 child
victims ranging in age from 5 to 17 years old. over 1600 law enforcement officers from 120 state and local agencies participated between june, 2003, and october, 2009. they rescued nearly 900 children. i applaud the hard work and coordination of state and federal resources to stop domestic minor sex trafficking, but there is a huge gap in the numbers we rescued versus the estimated 100,000 plus victims out there. that is why it is so important and joining carolyn malone and introducing h.r. 5575 to respectfully ask the committee to mark up as soon as possible this very important legislation that will at long last provide the necessary refuge, the theters, the beds -- estimate is about 50 beds
available for domestic minors and sex victims in the united states. that is appalling. this legislation would change that by providing minimal 86 grants of $2.2 million a piece that -- six grants of to $0.2 million apiece that would provide help. we need to do tenfold. because there really is a great need that has gone on that in the area of places, beds, and centers. let me say to my colleagues that the internet has enabled the misuse of domestic trafficking in the united states. it has opened up a new front in the war on trafficking, allowing demand to run free with few obstacles. therefore, we must develop more effective safeguards and enforce existing laws to ensure that obscenity nor child pornography,
neither of which is protected speech, to have so many victims. technology can help if used properly. such mechanisms include common- sense measures including digital tagging, community flagging, and a host of very important tools that could be used. my time is up. i will finish on this. we also need to weigh in on the ways that people, young children are moved around. last summer, this past summer, i convened a group of flight attendants led by american airlines which has a great program that really needs to be replicated worldwide so that the flight attendants and crews will recognize the person who is in traffic -- being trafficked, across borders or states, and take action. not in a vigilante type of white. alert the pilots so that when
this individual gets off, the right law enforcement asset, can be waiting there at the gate. there were instances after instances told where it just did not look right. and the flight attendants and watched what was going on, got into a conversation, perhaps when the young lady was going to the restroom and told the pilot who told law-enforcement. and those young ladies were rescued. we need to close up every means of moving victims across state lines and international lines as well. american airlines has a great program going. i urge the committee take a look at that as well. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. ms. smith? >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member and all of you in these tough times who are sitting through a committee. thank you for prioritizing this. it is an honor to testify on
domestic minor sex trafficking. this is a name that we have given to sexual exploitation of u.s. citizen children through prostitution, pornography, and sexual entertainment. then name reflects that this is human trafficking as defined in the federal trafficking protection act of 2000. victims of domestic minor sex trafficking should receive the full benefit of a victim -- protection, services, and the rights of light in it. and i guess, most of the time, they do not. furthermore, those who buy their innocence must receive the full penalty called for in the law. i would like to summarize my comments and submit them and the two reports, the domestic minor sex trafficking, prostituting america's children, for the record.
>> without objection. >> thank you. a brief background about shared hope. we started rescuing and restoring it girls who were traffic, in the sex trafficking or around the world in 1998. without going into that, we started studying the markets around the world and we studied four specifically to compare them and how demand was facilitated. these four countries included the u.s., and that led to us doing more research for the department of justice. essentially, we came up with the national report on domestic minor sex trafficking, america's prostituted children. the report reveals the following. american girls of all descriptions are being pimped and were found in a gentlemen's clubs to escort agencies and our websites and every major city that we researched. america's youth are at risk for extreme violence to
prostitution. there are at least 100,000 children exploited in prostitution every year in the united states. and the average age is a minor, middle school girl that is 13 years old. now, this was the alarming thing. i wanted to stop and not do anything after i started figuring this out. demand for younger victims was the factor driving recruitment and trafficking of our middle school girls across america now, i knew it would be hard for you to believe what i am telling you today, but this is not a place that anyone exaggerates. sometimes you hear things that are hard to believe. when i got the investigative a video back and i started going through it i said, i do not believe that this occurr. first of all, i wrote a book to let people know what it was like being a 13-year-old girl inside. from the girls were rescued,
they are real characters woven into a novel. today, you cannot read that book. i thought i would bring one of my girls with me in a video. this is a new girl in protection right now. i would like to introduce a girl we will call lacy. she was traffic on her 13th birthday. a sunday school girl. had not had a boyfriend. on her 50th birthday, we got her back out of a hospital -- on her 15th birthday. i want her to tell you what it is like. [no audio]
up, i would like to commend craigslist for being here today. and for shutting down the side. i have not had a girl that was not marketed online and most of them are marketed through craigslist that have worked in the united states. i hope we will hear a promise, lacey, i hope you will get to hear. and the 12-year-old in the front row. i just noticed she is here. i hope we will hear that this will not happen on their website again. we challenge other sites around the nation, those who are marketing children today, to follow the good leaf of craigd of craigslist. i want to comment on the two bills before us. both of them make a point that is really important to make. they lead with statements, they include an emphasis on what drives trafficking, and that is men buying commercial sex at
younger and younger age. i commend all of the catalyst for putting this as a top issue, for taking it on to the agenda. in closing, i would like to simply say thank you to all those girls, including lacy, who now have a chance to be saved because it is a public issue. we worked with law enforcement, and non-government groups. we found a placement for this girl and she is now save the people -- and people now realize she is a victim and not a criminal. let's see if we can get lazy now. acy now. -- get lacy now. they tried it this morning. it worked this morning. i will summarize lacy for you.
i was called on the case and they had a girl and a hospital. a probation officer had connected with her earlier, and a few months before that, she was picked up on prostitution. this makes me so sad because she was adopted at 13. the good part is she had a probation officer of wonders to she was a victim. we were called to comment to find a way to find placement for her. moved to another state, found a placement, and moved again and found another placement. but this little girl -- i call her a little church girl. her whole week before that was going to youth groups and church. she had to have somebody stop her from many months. she had younger brothers and sisters. they threatened her with those young brothers and sisters. they knew where she lived. they eventually got her. she would stay in slavery, going
to school, because they could get her brothers and sisters. this is a 13-year-old girl. she turned 15 last month. she is the same age as my dentist granddaughter. this is not acceptable. is -- she is the same age as my granddaughter. we need to rescue and restore all girls and women that come to us. we have to move the domestic traffic victim, who is over 90% of the victims, up to a point in priority, because it is just not acceptable to leave these children as criminals with no protection and
." >> judge gohmert will be with us shortly. let me begin by introducing our second panel. our first panel will be the national coordinator for child exploitation and prevention and interdiction in the office of the deputy attorney general of the department of juste. this position was created by congress and it -- in the protect our children act of 2008. in this capacity, she is charged with formulating and implementing a national strategy to combat child exploitation. she serves as the justice department's liaison to international, state, and local agencies. and she will be submitting our report on the national strategy to congress. she also serves as an assistant u.s. attorney for the northern district of georgia. a second witness, ernie allen, is the co-founder of the national center of missing and
exploited children. he has served as president and ceo of the nonprofit since 1989. under his leadership, more than 155,000 children have been recoved. they have increased their from 66% --ate a 24-hour missing children hot line, and aining for more than 276,000 law enforcement officers. our third witness has been actively raising awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children since 2000. a high-profile national advocate on the issue of domestic sex trafficking as well as a survivor herself of minor sets trafficking, she started her own nonprofit, courtney's house, which provides services for domestic youth.
it is the first group home for sex-trafficked children in the washington, d.c., metropolitan area. the next witness -- we wanted to have mr. lungren introduce, but he has been detained. our next witness is the appointed chief of police but in california in november, 2008. he has been working to combat human trafficking since 2001 when he developed a problem- solving methodology known as the care model -- custodial, analysis, rponse, the valuation. he is an architect of one of the first anti-human trafficking task forces in the united states. similar task forces were announced in 42 cities throughout the united states. at the requestf the department of justice in 2009, he authored
national guidelines. is the national director of the national district attorneys association national center for prosecution of child abuse, where she coordinate and manage his activities and operations of t center. she trains a child abuse professionals on investigation and prosecution. in 2004, she coordinated the development on two trial advocacy courses for prosecution of online child sex traffking. deborah richardson is responsible for implementation of a strategic plan that includes programming, research, a valuation, communications and
project initiatives of this global network of 165 women's funds in six continents. she has designed a model programs -- center tond adolescent sexual exploitation, angeles house, which is the only safe house in the southeast for sexually exploited girls, and she has been involved in the creation of multi disciplinary systems of care. her organization has some shocking recordings which she will describe. our seventh witness is william clinton and paul, the director of customer service for craigslist. in that capacity he served as their primary contact person for the law enforcement community in the past six years. he works directly with police officersfederal agents, prosecutors whose investigations involve craigslist content, and
personally testifies in judicial proceedings throughout the united states. elizabeth mcdoogal is a partner in a litigation practice. she focuses on internet-related disputes, online safety, and internet -- intellectual property. she maintains an active pro bono practice focusing on the combating human trafficking. areas of expertise include combating the use of services for all unlawful activities, combating abuse oservices for -- combating this use of online and offline content and combating on lawful intrusions into client services and systems. she also provides pro bono representation to nonprofit organizations on these issues with a particular emphasis on anti-human trafficking strategy efforts and measures.
all the witnesses wrien statements will be entered into the record in its entirety. we will ask each witness to summarize his or her testimony inive minutes or less and help stay within that te limit. there is a lighting device on the table that will start agreeing, go to yellow, and with one minute remaining -- and go red when the five minutes have expired. >> [inaudible] >> i apologize. >> i just notice dd that mr. lungren is here. >> if i could just say this about the chief. we have had some of ours and our district on the issue of human trafficking. unfortunately, my area is one of the worst in the entire united states. all lot of people would have a hard time believing that in sacramento, we happen to be at
the intersection of north-south interstates and east-west interstates, and the chief who is from the small community of truckey -- if you have ever been skiing and lake tahoe, you go to his district. i asked howhey go from new york to his district? he said it helps if you like to ski. he is an internationally recognized expert on this program. he has set up programs not only in the u.s. but in foreign countries. his nsitivity to this issue is absolutely palpable. and i am so happy he was able to come here. thank you, mr. chairman, for allowing me to put in a coupl words. >> i am sorry. >> good afternoon, mr. chairman, ranking member judge gohmert, who is not back in the room yet, and members of the subcommittee. i am the the national coordinator for child exploitation and interdiction.
i am tied with the attorney general's office at the department of justice. i am the general prosecutor. prior to 2002, i was an assistant district attorney in the state of georgia for six years. my first trial as an assistant district attorney was a child exploitation case. i have specialized in this my entire career. and it is an honor for me to appear before you to discuss department of justice efforts around the country to prosecute individuals involved in a prostitution of children. while unfortunately, children or around the world are victimized by various forms of exploitation, my focus is the commercial exploitation of american children by american citizens that occurs solely within the borders of our country. i will describe for you the efforts undertaken by the department of justice to combat job exportation in all forms. as i am sure you know, the department submitted its first- ever national strategy for child
exploitation prevention to congress on august 2. this initial strategy contains three parts. a comprehensive assessment of the threat of child exploitation poses. our review of the current efforts to prevent and interdict child exploitation across the government. and finally, our comprehensive approach to deterring it, preventing, and interdicting these terrible crimes. the commercial sexual exploitation of american children is a form of human trafficking. it is often prosecuted under the sex trafficking provision of 89 united states code section 1591. those who exploit children for commercial gain, exploit the vulnerability is of their victims. american children are recruited from all socio-economic classes and races. they become victims because of abandonment, abuse, or unhappiness. these children targeted by
pimps are typically runaways, for ways, are victims of sexual abuse. they are promised stability, love, attention and a home, but instead, find themselves forced into prostitution. american pimps can easily replace one child with another. they seem to have little fear of law enforcement, confident in their ability to keep their victims from cooperating against them. sadly, they are confident that they have customers that are willing to pay to sexually assault these children. the department of justice is heavily involved in combating this grave and growing problem while it is difficult to imagine, children as young as 11 are targeted for commercial sexual exploitatio in june, 2003, as the committee heard, in order to address this growing problem, the department, with the fbi and the department
child obscenity section, in conjunction with the national center for missing and exploited children, launched in the innocence lost national and is not it. each of the task forces and working groups without -- throughout united states work in tandem with federal agents, state and local law enforcement and with the u.s. attorney's office says. they bring togetherederal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and social service providers to engage in training. to date, this innocence lost initiative has resulted in nearly 600 convictions. and the location and the recovery of more than 1100 children. investigative efforts have increased and resulted in substantial sentences for those convicted, including four life sentences and many others ranging between 25 and 45 years. regnizing that a gap in
services often lead to difficulty in gaining a victims cooperation, the department's office for victims of crime is funding three demonstration projts focused onroviding services to domestic children exploited through prostitution. these projects will identify promising practices in the delivery of an array of services to these victims, and we look forward to reports on these projects. as i noted at the beginning, the department has recently submitted its national strategy for child exploitation to congress, and i brought a copy wi me today for those of you who have not seen it. we have also already begun implementing the goals and priorities contained therein. when we submit our next report, i expect we will be able to tell you of the strong progress we have made in the fight against all forms of child exploitation. as the note and a national strategy, we are committed to a mall site -- multifaceted attack on three fronts.
prevention, deterrence, and interdiction. each of these three is critical to our success in this fight. we are engaged with all of our law enforcement apartments are not in addition. -- our law enforcement partners in interdiction. the message we are sending with our national strategy is clear -- the department of justice is fully engaged in preventing, deterring, in interdicting tse heinous crimes. our goal is to prevent exploitation and to aggressively pursue those who prey on our children with strong enforcement, vigorous prosecution, and serious jail time for those who believe they can harm our children with impunity. thank you.
thank you. thank you for the support you continue to show us in california. i am going to ju to the end as i speak to the issues that has been spoken to in many representations' here today. part of my concern is in the use of the term "slavery." my concern rest there because it from the street level we can attest that what is going on in this domesc sex-trafficking is, in fact, an act of slavery. where the problem exists is that there is not the emphasis in responding to this problem of slavery that we saw some 200 years ago. if they shift was to occur, we
would see the needed response for ourhildren on the streets. i give that to mr. goldberg -- statement that it is hard to comprehend. it is hard to comprehend among law-enforcement circles. it causes inappropriate responses to a serious problem. it is an atrocity that is being perpetrated a month our children. in the years following the passage through the ttba, we were estimating that 9% of law enforcement was unaware of this problem as it has manifested itself in this country little- known al it has manifested
itself at in other parts of the world. the other parts of the world's side of this issue is part of the problem in that it is largely perceived as something that goes on somewhere else and it is not happening here at home to our own children. that in itself les to another level of victimization for a tremendous problem that is going on in every major city, even in small cities around the world. we need to recognize that for what it is. the city of dallas, in e statistics that they have brout from their works, what the statistics that they point out is that there is an 85% chance that if a teenage girl runs away she will be sexually explted. the third time she will be a victim of human trafficking. there are great efforts going on and great cooperation going on between federal, state, and
local enforcement officers and among the ngo officers. but from what i am seeing, it is happening in pockets around our country and with various levels of success. that is largely dependent upon issues related to education, training, and particully resources for housing. some sources said managed to identify a victim of human trafficking and the best that he has is to maintain the person in the back of a patrol car until they can make some sort of appeal to place this child who, if not properly placed, was simply end up back on the reet, in the system, and in the hands ofhe traffickers. when that child sees that is the
system's response to the tragedy in which she has lived, there is no reason to have confidence in a justice system to find a resolution to this problem. another matter that we would like to speak to very quickly in regard to the bill itself, i appreciate the concern about the program that pays for the education of the perpetrators on the demand side of this issue. quite frankly, if they have the money to paper the services, then they should have the money to pay for being caught in the perpetration of this crime. i highly encouraged when considering this issue that this only be the beginning of a major movement towards combating this problem. if we truly regard it as an issue of slavery, we should get
a response that slavery deserves on a wide scale and monumental level. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. it has been said several times, but most americans believe that child trafficking only happens somewhere else. today i can report to you that it is happening to at least 100,000 u.s. children each year. yet heard the numbers from the members aeady. the primary basis for our estimate is a study that the university of pennsylvania. u.s. children are at risk each year and 250,010 to 17 year olds are involved in commercials exploitation with 60% being run
away or homeless kids. of that number, we believe that 100,000 are trafficking victims. one-third of street level prostitutes or less than 18. one-half of all street prostitutes are less than 18. since the launch of the essence lost mission, -- innocense lost mission, we have learned things. part of this is organized crime. these kids are moved city to city. while it is not mafia type organized crime, in april the gambino crime family was indicted for selling kids for sex over the internet. organized cre is involved for two reasons -- low risk and high profit. we have learned as has been
mentioned that these kids or victims. this truly is 21st ntury slavery. they lack the ability to walk away. the parents that use them are the criminals as are the customers that purchased them. these kids need to be rescued, not arrested. we have learned that the offenders do not just parade these kids on city streets anymore. we have seen over the past seven years that there has been gradual movement to the internet. the customers shopped on-line from the privacy of their own homes and hotel rooms. that is why in 2008 the national center joined with connecticut and 40 other attorneys general with an agreement with craigslist. we recognize that law enforcement will never be able to arrest and prosecute everybody. if we are going to end child sexual trafficking, which is the
goal, we need a multi-prond atck that includes engaging big companies at the epicenter of the problem. why was the nonprofit national center a party to such agreement? first, it is what we do. secondly, congress has given the center 20 specific mandates including operating the cyber- tip line. working to prevent child sexual exploitation, and specifically working with law enforcement, internet service providers, electronic payment providers, and others to reduce the distribution on the internet of images of sexually exploited children. it was necessary and appropriate for us to be a party to the agreement. we have not received a dime from craigslist, nor will we. craigslist agreed to require credit-card verication, working phone numbers, and aid
law-enforcement investigations in 2008. yet in several months, it was clear that the agreement was not having the intended effect. in 2009, craigslist agreed to take additional steps including shutting down an erotic services, replacing it with a new category in which all as would be manually screen with suspicious as be reported to the tional center, new in graphic photographs were banned. while there were some impact, we concluded that it was not eliminating the problem. we pressed for additional steps. it now appears that craigslist had shut down until services altogether. ifhis has occurred, we think it is a positive and constructive step. however, we must broaden the focus beyond craigslist and urge every on-line classified site to take action, including flagging and reporting suspicious as to
the national center cyber-tip line. in july, a maryland mother found 8 photograph of her daughter in a sex at. she contacted us. we worked with the maryland state police and the fbi -- and the fbi. the juvenile was recovered. the pimp was arrested. the child lookeyounger, but nobody reported it. we have received 137 reports from craigslist. they removed 725,000 advertisements. our message to these companies and the public is simple -- it b.c. it, it is suspected, if you know about it, report it. that is all law enforcement learns about these cases. we rognize that if we crack down in one area, some of this problem will migrate to other areas.
that is progress, frankly. we follow the money. the goal iso destroy the business model of tse who sell children for sex on the internet. let me mention briefly a few other priorities. first, many of these kids are missing children. our analyst are doing image matching, searching databases, trying to identify children who have been reported missing by their pants. yet some law enforcement agencies still do not enter them properly as required by federal w. some do not report them at all. there must be comprehensive law enforcement training in how to recognize high risk victims and respond effectively. this is a complex problem that crosses political boundaries and jurisdictions. there needs to be strong cooperation between federal and state governments. inuly, the national conference of state legislators adopted a
strong policy on human trafficking calling for more servicesor victims, and greater federal-state dialogue and cooperation. there needs to be far more attention to prevention. increasingly our society is sexualizing children at younger and younger ages, leading some kids to view sexual exploitation as normal. we must keep them from becoming compliant becomes. as you have heard, we need to attack demand and we need to correct a better understanding as to why there is such a large market for sex with kids. finally, we have got to provide moreervices for the victims. today there are some extraordinary programs doing heroic work. there are not enough of them and the ones that exist received insufficient funding. in conclion, i am -- i can
report that we are making progress. we think this bill is a great step forward. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee. i am a survivor of child sex trafficking. i was 13 when i fell in love for the first time. he turned out to be a pimp. i was raped, manipulated, sold r sex, and beaten. i had a broken spirit when the police found the at the age of 15. sadly, they arrested me. i spent one year in juvenile detention. that was torture. this is the typical experience of a child sex trafficking but dumb. i was rescued from my pimp but was labeled a delinquent. it did not provide me with the
counseling or treatment for the trauma. i spent one year locked up and came out at the end with no referrals for services. nothing to help me go back dto have normal childhood. i made it my mission to be part of the solution. a decade ago, i committed to providing ecialized services that i did not receive when i was a victim. sarah and i will provide help to thousands of children used in prostitution in our country every year. i found a house in the district of columbia at that provide outreach and specialized services. next i began developing a shelter for girls ages 12 to 18 in northern virginia. we are set to open this year. however, one of the gaps we have
is the absence of the safe housing. appropriate shelter, specifically for boys and girls victims of domestic sex trafficking. it is destined to be a home for six people with a state of three years. it can take years for rape victim to recover. each victim requires a tailored their peak. this can only happen in a place safe from trauma. our annual projected budget is $600,000. while this provides housing, counseling, therapy, as well as activities, foods, everything they need, it is supplemented to guess right now. reduced rent, guests of furniture and necessities, as well as sizable grants from
donors. operatn of law enforcement has been critical. as the most frequent first responders in thease of its child sex trafficking, it is critical that we accompanied them othat race to advocate for any victims identified at the same. we all agree with case management after the rescue whicgives the victim confidence to work with law enforcement to build cases. after the case is over, they will stl continue to work with us to receive the proper treatment that they deserve. there are group homes and shelters across the country. some even have specialized shelters for different types of sexual abuse. however, the sexual trauma suffered by victims requires a specialized environment.
this population suffers from intense embarrassment and shame having been conditioned by their trafficker to blame themselves. the internet has played a big oft in the sec's traffic every client from boys to girls. every child we have has been sold on craigslt. the average in age from 11 to 17. everypimp has a small space page. -- every pimp has a myspace page. they have job boards where they go online and post information on where to buy children. this is not only in the united states, this iworldwide. this has been going on for many years. we must do something about our
children being sold on the internet. hon. chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to share my experiences. as the voice of a survivor and now a leader for providing services, i must tell you tt what you see for the average age for boys and girls is 11 to 12-years old. i urge you to pass the bill that will enable six locations around the country to set up comprehensive responses to the child sex trafficking occurring in their cities. the benefit of six shelters somewhere in the nation, likely doubng the number of beds currently advocating to victims, cannot be addressed estimated -- cannot be underestimated. thank you. >> thank you.
>> chairman scott, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on behalf of the national district attorneys association, the oldest and largest organization representing over 39,000 district attorneys, states attorneys, attorney generals, and counties, cities, and trouble prosecutors. they have the responsibility for prosecuting 95%. protecting our children from those who would commercially sexually exploit them remains one of theost impornt challenges facing america's criminal-justice system today. commercial sexual exploitation of children is particularly problematic since many criminal justice systems have only recely begun to address the victimization of our adolescence and our children that occurs in the guise of sex trafficking and
prostitution. emerging research on the adolescent brain, the intimate partner dynamics of pimp-child relationships are helping to ing justice to those you are commercially sexually exploiting them. a program -- a provide technical assistance, training, and support for prosecutors charged with protecting boys and girls in this country. i am a former prosecutor. i have served as a state and local prosecutor in multiple jurisdictions handling a range of internet partner violence and child abuse cases, many of which involved victims of human trafficking. i applaud and thank you for
recognizing the need to end human trafficking and slavery in this country. the leadership demonstrated by each of you who serve on the subcommittee suggests that the coordination of federal, tribal, state, and local efforts in this area is n widely recognized as an increasing priority in the american criminal-justice system. there are countless cases where juvenile justice responses, civil trial protections, and criminal job protection -- a criminal -- the statutory framework which criminalizes adolescence stands in stark trends -- stark contrast which outlined protection for victims of trafficking. many jurisdictions have
conflicting statutory framework support addressing the victimization of our children. as long as we are arresting the child victims we are facilitating the sex industry in this country. stutory framework provides unlimited opportunity for the underage trafficking big dumb to cooperate with th prosecution and make healthier choices fly in the face of our understanding of the adolescent brain. the internet partner dynamics, the post traumatic stress issues which are related to a history of repeated sexual assaults, and the and ability of our job protection systems to respond appropriately to the needs of sexually assaulted children and children in our upholstered chair system. we have invited american -- we have invited medical partners to develop a public health model for assessing the needs of these children.
the framework is appropriate for responding to those who are commercially sexually exploiting our children. other frameworks might provide insight for better meeting the needs of the victims in these cases. e need for services is critical to improving the responses and prosecution practices. another concern that has been largely overlooked is that many of the underage female victims in these cases have children or have -- or are pregnant. job protection needs to be involved to consider carefully the needs of the second generation victims in these cases. also, we too often find the very inappropriately named john schools. from a linguistic and victims' perspective, john is a book in
the bible, the name of my brother. >> good afternoon, chairman scott and members of the subcommittee. i have worked for more than a decade on domestic sex trafficking. i have seen girls as young as 10-year old, handcuffed, and taken into detention. i would like to stop and think you for speaking on behalf of so many young girls who cannot
speak for themselves. an independent tracking study released today by the women' funding network shows that over the past six months the numr of under age girls traffic on line has risen exponentially. michigan, a 30.2% increase. minnesota, a staggering 64.7% increase. what you see on the projected slide documents what you have already heard, that it is the dominant source -- that the internet is the dominant source for trafficking under age girls. it makes this crime practically risk-free. the men who have sex with innocent girls -- laws and not kept up with technology. to demonstrate my point, i brought some audiotapes today which i am not able to hear, but
i asked if i may submit them as part of my testimony. >> without objection. >> thank you. you'll hear a man calling on line and ordering sex from young girls. the young girl says, "i am just turning 16. is tt ok?" the man says, "i wish she were 12." those voices are shocking. they demonstrate that every day in every community calls are being made by men whore our neighbors and colleagues. mr. allen said a few minutes ago that we must follow the money. a report released today says where the money is. it demonstrates that on 12 on-
line ses, they will account for $63 million in sex and ad revenue in 2010. unl craigslist took down its site earlier this month, they were accounting for $30 million of the sales. the next competitor back page was $17 million. an independent study said that more than half of the man responding to these ads featuring young girls wanted to continue the transaction despite multiple warnings that the girl they were about to buy was underage. as a matter of fact, according to our study, ads on craigslist received three times as many responses compared to back page. craigslist initial response was a cease and desist demand. the woman funding network asked to sit dn and talk to them
about solutions. they declined. no response at all. we hope the committee will ask questions. hal will it make sure that no girl is sold on its site, notwithstanding the significant role of the internet, we believe that public policy and grass- roots efforts can address this issue. the women's funding network is the largest network in the world and operates on six continents. we have accelerated our efforts to end domestic sex trafficking. we are making an initial investment of $1 million to support the work of our member funds. this will go towards replicating the successful model that had amazing results in georgia.
the women's foundation of minnesota, the new york women's foundation, and the dallas women's foundation of the first boards that are mounting a statewide efforts. the georgiou model combines independent research, law enforcement, and leadership. we are seeing that their numbers are trending downward. the women's bonding network will stand side-by-side with congress, law enforcement, advocacy organizations to use their collective voices and the power of our members in 42 states of this country representing hundreds of thousands of women and men to end domestic trafficking of underage girls. finally, we ask for these facilitation and exploitation of burroughs -- girls.
we as the department of justice to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who break federal law. we cannot prosecute our way out of this issue. this is why we must address demand. >> thank you, mr. powell. >> my name is william clinton powell, and i am the craigslist director of customer service and law enforcement relations. i served as the craigslist primary merely a son with the company since i joined in 2004. i appreciate e opportunity to
meet with you this afternoon. given the short notice, jim was not available to travel to washington to testify today, and craig is focused primarily on his role as a member of my customer service team has not been involved in the day-to-day management of the company for about 10 years. i also wanted to echo the sentiments of speakers who have preceded me with respect to the horror and revulsion that we all feel about this issue. i also agree with congresswomen spears characterization of the issue as a human tragedy, because it is. i would like to sell a few words about the service that craigslist provides. we are for local, on-line classified ad listings and discussion forums used by over 60 million americans each month. craigslist users post and respond to add to help them find
basic necessities in their everyday lives, such as jobs, housing, second-hand items, local serces, personal relationships and event listings. today craigslist is far and away the leading classified advertising service used in the united states. until recently, craigslist included an adult services category. it was created in 2001 at the request of craigslist users tired of seeing adult services at some mixed into the personal category. they wanted a separate category, similar to what yellow pages, newspapers, and other advertising venues have done for a number of decades. working collaborative lee with attorneys general, law enforcement, company ngo's and other parties, who craigslist has developed leading industry practices including the following.
educatg and encouraging users to report suspected trafficking and exportation, prominently featuring law enforcement contacts and hot lines for reporting illegal activity, creating specialized victim search interfaces for law enforcement agencies, implementing a wide variety of technical screening and builder in measures, and mentally reviewing every adult service at prior to posting -- manually reviewing. to our knowledge, no other venue has adopted these best practis, and very cute in use have adopted more than one of the measures. with bill craigslist has been one of the bright spots and correct -- success stories in the fight against trafficking in child exploitation. we have been told as much by experts on the frontlines, many of whom we have met with in person, from whom we have gathered helpful sgestions that we have incorporated. craigslist has been virtually alone among the many advertising venues carrying a dull ads in
vigorously comting exploitation and trafficking. regarding cooperation with law- enforcement and other partners, craigslist facilitates literally billions of human interactions each month, many of them face- to-face. among tens of millions of u.s. users, nearly all of whom are well intentioned law-abiding citizens. the incidence of crime related use of craigslist is extremely low, but despite our best efforts, it is not and cannot be 0. when craigslist is used or misused for illegal activities, we assist law enforcement in their investigations. the company has a long history of close cooperation of all enforcement. with respect to the subject matter for today's hearing, we pride ourselves on our responsiveness to law enforcement. our goal is to turn around in greece within one business day, rather than typically longer intervals at other internet
companies. i have personally been told many timesy law enforcement agent that craigslist is by far the most responsive internet company that they deal with. we participate actively in the cyber tip line program administered by the national center for missing and exploited children. we have been done is that we are the only such participant making direct reports among countless other venues that carry adult service ads. we have assisted and tat- trafficking sweeps and have been credited by agents with helping make them successful. we have engineered special tools to facilitate the work of law enforcement. these include creation of multiple special search interfaces that facilitate the search for missing children across all craigslist sites. in conclusion i would like to reiterate to items that may be helpful to the committee.
first, craigslist discontinued its adult services section on september 3, 2010, and there are no plans to reinstate the category. those who formerly posted ads in the adult services category will nowave to advertise elsewhere, and there is evidence that this process began immediately after september 3 picked second, craigslist has always taken pride in assisting law enforcement, and we will continue to do so in the future. thanks for extending the invitation to meet with the committee. >> good afternoon. thank you, chairman scott, and committee, thank you for having me here. i went a law firm and i am here today because i am counsel craigslist on online safety, security, and abuse issues. i have been council in that regard for over two years. i want to say first that there is substantial common ground that we share with everybody on
this panel today. we believe as they do that human trafficking i child exploitation is a heinous an insidious problem. we also agreed it is an extremely complex problem, a problem that involves the loring and seduction of victims. it involves a social conditions th make them successful -- make victims susceptible. it involves finding a way to stop the demand, at the predominantly men who creat this market. because of the complexity of the problem, it comes as no surprise that there is a significant divergence and even clash sometimes of use as to how to solve this problem. this is where we and some of the groupat the table tod diverge. a number of the groups that have spoken have an approach towards
solving the child sexual exploitation problem by deepak -- idealistic approach that if you eradicate prostitution and adult services in any venue, you will eradicate victims, there'll be no more victims if there can be no more services. craigslist approach, after getting input from interested parties including ngos, advocacy groups, law enforcement, politicians, and victims, craigslist has adopted an approach to container control, educate, and support and assist law enforcement. with respect to containment, craigslist created first the erotic services then the adult services category so that adult content, which includes legal, adult services, could be put in one location. that serves the purpose of making sure that people who do not want to see such content don't have to see that content.
it also gives a single location for law and burke -- law- enforcement, rescue groups, families looking for children, one location to go to. it is like in a city that has owned a particular area for adult entertainment and activities, is confined to a particular zoned area. the police know where it is and can look for illegal activity in that region. with respect to controls, craigslist has implemented flagging that was committed as one way to help control the problem on the internet. craigslist also engages in after reporting. they have numerous measures to filter out ads that could involve trafficking or child pornography. it was implemented in conjunction with the national center for missing and employed it -- exported children.
it -- missing and exploited children. i would like to be very clear about one. . i just said that the attorneys general was part of the request. it was their idea the craigslist charge -- it facilitates tracking the perpetrators behind posting ads. up until that time, craigslist had never charged for the adult services and had never had any intention of charging for them. with respect to the education craigslist provides, craigslist, long ago implemented the help page for the exploitation of minors that included reference to the national trafficking hot line. it developed over time to include references to the cyber tip linas well as numerous
local resources. on the entry pages to the adult services section, there were warnings and references to the cyber tip line and requests for users to also report if they suspected illegal activity. with respect to referrals, assistance, and support for law enforcement, in addition to making referrals, craigslist has been foremost in responding rapidly to law enforcent and creating tools and continued gular meetings with the attorneys general, and invited meetings with anybody who was willing to listen. georgia do not justice contacted craigslist with respect to the possibility of improving the ability to identify myers and photographs on line. we responded to the call the very same day engaged in a
dialogue about it. the woman at georgia juvenile justice suffered a death in the family and never responded. in terms of voluntary action by craigslist, when craslist implemented these measures, credit card verification and on verification, a lot of ads started to migrate over to the therapeutic services category. craigslist voluntarily implemented the same measures there. craigslist has more than fulfill the obligations under the joint statement, and now craigslist has also removed the adult services category. with respect to a couple of commen that were made, i want to point out there has been
reference to a study by the shapiro group and there have been some numbers quoted and relied on by that to indicate that craigslist is somehow the worst offender out there, rather than the most active, aggressive online service, adding trafficking. it was submitted to this committee report today by the urban institute that addresses the report that was published by the shapiro report. i would just ask you to look at that and considethe comments if you choose to consider information that has been derived from that report. of like to address mr. allen's point regarding reports that were made. he pointed out that craigslist blocked over 700,000 ads from posting on its adult services category and noted that only approximately 137 of those resulted in referrals. if you look at a chart that was
provided this morning to the committee, you will see the activity spike in may 2009, when crailist implemented the credit-card payment procedure, and its bike because the perpetrators knew that it was much easier for them to be caught on craigslist. they moved their traffic. you also see a significant spike occurring at the very end of the graph, which indicates september 3, when craigslist took down the adult services section and the traffic moved again over to back page. my point there is that we identified only 137 referral toncmec because the people who trafficking children were smart enough to move to another site, because we have never been a friendly place for criminal activity.
we apply at guideline of 21 years old rather than 18 years old, just to air on the safe side. if i could eliminate human trafficking in child exploitation in the world, we would do it in a heartbeat. it would not do it? with removal of adult services like the manual review, what has happened is the ads have miated to other sites. the evidence of that is clear. the chart i provided demonstrates that. consequently, craigslist fears that its utility to help combat child exploitation has been grossly diminied. however, we remain willing and able to work with the committee to do whatever we can to continue t fight this
absolutely terrific problem. thank you. -- absolutely horrific problem. >> i will recognize myself for five minutes and begin with mr. powell. you he made a promise to monitor postings. is a logisticall possible with the number of postings to actually review on an individual basis postings on your site? >> are you referring to the content that appears after we removed the adult services category? we have a number of technological measures that are used, along with a manual review, that we feel does a good job at insuring that the content that had previously appeared in the manually
review adult services category does not migrate to the other categories that appear on our side, the personal categories come other services categories, and in addition to review by our staff of those categories in the past 10 days, the chart that ms. mcdougal referred to with respect to increase in traffic on it back page seems to support that. >> if someone is communicating with cigslist, can you identify technologically which computer made that contac >> yes. >> so you contract the person if necessary? -- so you can track the person if necessary? >> in cases where we have not received a request from law enforcement, we released the records to the district attorneys, the police officers,
to the fbi agents and use the information we captor to do that tracking. >> i can further elaborate if that is helpful. what craigslist can pvide is the e-mail address and ip address of the person who posted the ad. craigslist cannot from their identify the specific pern -- computer or individual. you can identify who the service provider is for that ip address and you can contact the service provider and get from them the information as to who owns that ip address. law enforcement can do it b subpoena. you can do it in a civil suit by subpoena as well. >> what laws apply to internet providers like craigslist that would make them criminally liable for the postings? >> mr. chairman, i am n aware of any law that makes them
liable, unless there was evence tt craigslist was participant, specifically whether they were for example conspiring with those who were misusing their site, knowingly conspiring to violate the laws. what we have seen in the past -- >> what if they are not actively conspiring, what about just intentional neglect? or they just don't care. >> i am not aware of any federal statutes with respect to neglect being the standard. in federal law, the standard for prosecution would be knowing or willful. when you are talking about the cases that have come up, the investigations thahave been done by the fbi and others, i am not aware of anything that shows us that craigslist might be criminally liable. >> i am not just talking about craigslist. if there are no laws on the
books now, are there any potential loss we could put on the books that would pass constitutional muster that would be helpful in tracking down people that make these postings. >> the department of justice would be more than happy to work with the committee and consult with you on whether or not there are tools with respect to the topic you are discussing. however, i would say that i believe that at this point, we have the proper tools. we have what we need to prosecute the guilty, that is the people or using the internet, not just craigslist and not just prostitution of children. it is sexual exploitation of children in all its forms. many predators who would prey on children utilize the internet, ms. use the internet to prate on those children. i don't think the one here would propose closing the internet. >> you have to parts to this transaction. one is the posting of the availability of the children,
and the other is the dand side. are there any efforts to essentially set people up so that anyone who goes on the internet searching for people can get in snared in a sting operation? >> yes, mr. chairman. over the last year in the western district of missouri, operation guardian angel has been in effect. that is a law enforcement operation utilizing internet service providers like craigslist to post ads suggesting that they have children who are under age that they would provide for sex. operation guardian angel, several people answered the ads. several people made arrangements over the telephone to meet with who they thought would be underage children for sex, and never prosecuted for those crimes. >> what is the typical -- and they were prosecuted for those crimes.
>> would is a typical penalty for that customer >> it could be as little as five years or as many as life. >> on dateline nbc, the penalties they publish or a couple of months. is that typical? course that would be state and local. some of the charges utilized in state and local offenses in certain jurisdictions might be misdemeanors. in federal law, is a felony. trafficking a job over the internet carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. >> how much cooperation is there in federal, state, and local law enforcement in these investigations and prosecutions ?uestio
>> we believe it has been extremely successful. one thing we are doing is working with all of our partners, community-based, law- enforcement and industry based, in order to establish what are the best practices we are all engaging in, expanding on cooperation and collaboration with respect to child exploitation. we are looking into whether the innocence lost national initiative should be expanded to more areas across the country. i would say that where we have the innocence lost national initiative task force and working groups, they are very successful. we have located over 1100 children since 2003 and prosecuted more than 600 offenders who have received some very substantial sentences. >> i appreciate your responding so quickly to the letter i
wrote. you are to be admired. people like you are really important to solving problems, and i admire you for your courage to come here and talk to congress and tell your story. so thank you very much for being here. craigslist, it is good to hear that this site has been shut down. we want to make that clear that you all have done that. is that correct, mr. powell? >> that is correct, yes. >> there are many issues. you have all talked about the problems andssues. i am concerned as a former jud and prosecutor about the victim, the girl, the young lady is not a criminal, but yet in our state courts, because of different
reasons and excuses, they are still treated like criminals. to get in the system to get any kind of treatment, they are treated like criminals. we have a social do to fix that problem so these things do not continue to happen to young women in our country. the people involved, besides the victim, you have the trafficker, and you may have been present when i made comments about what ought to happen to traffickers, at least what texas ranger thinks oht to happen to traffickers. then you have the consumer, and i think we need to zero in on the consumer who pays for this crime, who pays in the sense that they are able to exploit children. when there is a market, this
crime will continue. when there is a buyer. so we need to make it more difficult for the consumer, who seems to be traditionally in this type of crime, gets away with it. you mentioned the fact that the missouri u.s. attorney's office had a project. i understand that they only prosecuted 10 cases, is that correct? >> i am not sure of the exact statistics. >> i think it is 10. seven pled guilty. of all these cases happening in the united states, on the federal level, we have seven people that pled guilty. i am talkingbout the consumer, the buyer, the other criminal. is that correct? >> no, not exactly. i cannot give you the exact number of how manhave pled guilty or been convicted to date. we have expanded and other districts are employinghe same techniques.
i can assure you that the department is pursuing those who paid to sexlly assault children. >> get me those statistics, if you will. to meet, seven out of 10 is not nearly good enough. we talked about the internet and how is being used by criminals. maybe law enforcement ought to figure out a way to do this and capture these consumers that pay for this crime, this service. there photographs ought to be on the internet. we should advertise to the world to these people are who have exported young women in the united states. as a judge, i used to try to do some innovative things, but we need to be thinking about how we can use the internet to the advantage of enforcement of the law. these guys suddenly start seeing
their photographs on the internet, and they stop this. that is a responsibility we have come to figure out some solutions. in your district, tell me how you deal with a sexually exploited child has been trafficked. you come in contact with her -- do you file on her for prostitution? what happens in the domestic situation? >> there is a lack of resources when it comes down to the contact of the victim of this crime. as it stands, most of the work i have been doing in northern california has been out of a congressman lundgren said district in the sacramento region. it is one of the most prolic areas where this is going on at a tremendous rate and spreading throughout that region. we have a multidisciplinary task force and a multitude of non-
governmental agencies to respond to the problem. fortunately, there are few nonprofit organizations -- a few that have come into play to provide a place for these victims to go to, which is part of the problem. if we cannot get them out of the law enforcement context, in order to remove them from the environment in which they are preyed upon, then they go right back into the system. they find it is a hopeless environment. in effect, we are at a struggling. , having effective laws and tools to deal with the perpetrators. as you mentioned earlier, oftentimes at the state and local level, it is a one or two pimps, wholty for the camp
are better classified as traffickers. ere are willing to suffer that for the hundreds of thousands of dollars they control in from this on an annual basis. we are struggling when it comes to a lack of resources. that is a significant issue to turn these victims away from the system. the eight officers from having to put them into the justice system as criminals, just as an attempt to remove them from their victimization. as i stated earlier, it becomes a matter of real victimizing them in another way. >> we have a lot of work to do, but we need to make its so that the consumer, the buyer, and the trafficker -- is not a cost of
business, the penalty's too great for them to stay in business. more important, we need to find and take care of these young women, whether on the state or local level, and find a way where they don't lose hope and have their spirit is broken because of the crime that continues to be committed againsthem. >> the gentle lady from texas. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, for this hearing, and to the ranking member. i would like to connect to my friend and colleague from texas and build on the testimony. forgive me for being delayed and not being able to hear all of the testimony, but many view i am familiar with, i am also a speed reader to accept some of the comments you have made.
first of all, let me thank you for the work you do. i chair the professional children's caucus and we have looked at these issues. i have engaged with ernie allen for a number of years in my own district and here in washington d.c. let me pay tribute not only to teaneck, but to constituents of mine got the name of catherine griffin, who struggles in my own community to the qstion of resources. you have hit the nail on the head. as i asked the chairman's byulgent, let me first begain speaking to mr. powell, and thank him for his presence here. what we would like to think is en witnesses come, that as members pose questions, we are being provocative so we can
secure real answers to the problem. my first queion, since craigslist has such a brand, and i think he would agree, media has its way of interpretation. you would agree that the last month was not a good public exposure for craigslist. people are only let, good or bad, by what they see. the first initial response appeared to be stonewalling, lack of response, and it gave all of us a bad taste in our mouths. i think the real question is, you now can stand an example for a lot of internet sites and web sites and other levels of technology that continue to proliferate. what took you so long to
immediately stop? how can we be convinced that when he goes away -- when the heat goes away, the material results in come, value that you get from these services, does not find itself back on your side? i had the impression that you took off adult services, but individuals migrated to other sites on craigslist and are just proliferating and having a good time. i gave you three questions, i hope you can remember them. >> to respond to the first question regarding the timing, i don't have the specific information about why september 3 was elected, but i can assure the members of the committee and others that we do not have any intention to restore that category.
i think there is a sense that in some ways, taking that step may be a step backward in terms of addressing some of the core causes of the issue. my hope is that the migration we have seen of these particular ads to other web sites, and not to other parts of craigslist. we have seen some fairly strong indications that the measures we have taken and are continuing to take have prevented that, but the other sites that have been mentioned previously, we would hope that they continue to adopt some of the practices that craigslist has had in place for a number of ars, including working collaboratively with the national center for missing and exploited children, providing reporting mechanisms, working closely with law enforcement.
>> i don't want to cut you off, but i have short time and i may be overlapping. no amount of money is going to cause craigslist to reinstitute in another name this kind of sight? >> i cannot answer that directly, but what i can tell you -- >> mr. powell, please. i recognize layer of responsibility, and i am keeping a tone of respect, because i understand you are represented. mr. pell, please. no amount of money will cause you to reinstate that site, and are you suggesting to me that business decisions and judgments may play into this site coming back again? i have already given you complement's for being a standard bearer for change, but now i am hearing that it might come back again? >> no, no. what i am saying is we do not have any intention to bring that
category back, and that money is not a consideration as we make our decisions. >> what do we need to do in congress? we have a challenge of the first amendment, and i could be categorized very openly as a progressive in a dilemma, but let me tell you what my position is -- shut them down,. what does that say about the potential proliferatn of these sites elsewhere? which plays intthe work, i take it. >> it does. it plays very significantly into this work into the credit of craigslist, i will agree that they have made significant strides and provided tremendous resources in terms of when the problem is brought to their attention, and the request for
assistance. on the other hand, we do have a difficult task when it comes to the legislative piece of it, because as it goes, freedom has its price. however, i would like to hear the affirmative response that this will not come back under any circumstances, which i think was the answer you were looking for. >> i ask the chairman of i did have an additional minute, and i will speak quickly. let me just go back so you can stay on record again, you mentioned the word resources. you need more resources to do what? >> to train and educate law enforcement. we need resources to provide for shelters and the place to get these children off the streets and away from being put into the system as criminals. that has to be outside of the justice system with our non law
enforcement partners. th is what we need in resources. we als need resources to allow law enforcement the time to invest in this, because this is not the type of crime that is driven by -- is driven by time d vestment of follow-up and follow-through and recognition that we have to do this in a victim centered approach, rather than trying to complete an investigation so that we can get it before the prosecutor. we have to keep the individuals who have been victimized at the center of this effort, and that takes time and resources. >> let me move quickly to ernie allen. i remember when we were first confronting the issue of hiv aids. everybody was whispering. until we took it to the national level of exposure, billboards, everyone speaking about it, a
round coffee pot, in hallways and byways and local community houses, etc. people began to be comfortable with acknowledging being hiv- infected or that they needed help. and notice some of the recommendations you have made. he have been very good on getting us to understand missing, abuse, and exploit it is not -- another is a legislation i will be reading. it seems to talk about taking this to another level. we need people talking about that these are victims and not criminals. we need to be able to say to the federal government, it is worthy of your enhance involveme, and we hav already talked about resources. the only way you get communities talking about this is you put this right up to them, write to
their faces. principals and teachers and school boards and pastors and others. ernie, what do you say about that, and have we done that? >> we have not done that. i think we have begun to do that. i included a quotation from a police commanding officerho said the only way not to find this problem in any community is simply not to look for it. i think america has begun to look. you are exactly right. we have a generation of kids who are sexualize. many of these victims become compliant. what we have to do is educate the american people. using the hiv aids example, we have educated american and responded to the challenge over tobacco, in terms of seat belts and car seats. this will require social change. it will require enormous public awareness, because these kids are hidden victims.
>> i know that smokers would raise their hand and say it is uncomfortable to be smokers in america. this is what the judge is speaking up. we have to make it uncomfortable, and is not. i just want to pose this question. let me ask the department of justice, i heard something that i hope is inaccurate. it may be some underpinnings of something that may be positive, but am i hearing something about the justice department looking at lessening penalties on sex perpetrators, people in porn? is that what you are doing? you know what i am saying? >> i am somewhat familiar with
what you are talking about. >> i am ainst it. [laughter] >> speaking as a prosecutor, i can assure you that i personally am for very heavy penalties on those who exploit children in all their forms, as is the department of justice. did attorney-general -- the attorney general said publicly that this was more than a crime issue for him, it is a legacy issue. we have to protect the children and prosecute the offenders, and we will continue to dthat. what you are referring to is a letter from someone in that part of justice to the sentencing commission staff, where he indicated that a review of the child pornography guidelines might be advisable by the sentencing commission, buthe department has not, and i would be shocked if they did, issued any opinions as to saying that the penalties for child
exploitation should be lessened. we have not done so. >> i support a wide range of lessening of sentencing, but i can assure you, i hope we will silence that person in their letter wting and to extinguish itefore it gets to any place of review. i want to conclude -- i have legislation that deals with retaining the dna of sexual predators in of bank -- in a bank focused on child sexual predators. so that they can look in the computer and see if this individual was in iowa five months ago with the same type of behavior. it is a question of whether we have that finite system,
separated by the fact that this was the perpetrator of children's crim. however, you were a victim as well and have come forward. can you just share with us what you think the single thing is -- you have heard a lot of with the federal government can do, and you hea craigslist. do we need to have people rise up and except good citizenship and say they will not have these kind of sites on any form of public or commercial enterprise, where people are making money off of sex crimes? >> i think it is very difficult to shut down every se on the internet. if shutdown one, there'll be another one. however, i truly agreed with the cheap here saying if we are born to hear -- have the sites, let's do an investigation properly. if we are giving them the
information, giving them the website, how to contact them, let's do an investigation of of that. one or service providers collecting all this information, giving it to the police? we basically help create these cases, find out information, collecting all the data that the police need to make sure they actually prosecute and do what they are supposed to, and not hold children on a material witness warrants in jail. i'll be honest and tell you this. it is difficult for the police. they don't have the funding and resources, but it should not be an excuse. >> of taking it to the next level of exposure nationally, where people realize this is a crime against humanity. the resource question, to help the chief bud cases, and the
point about the child or the person is not theicti i suspect you say it would be good to make the perpetrator very uncomfortable, and that society would almost extinguished it be incredible for someone toct on that behavior. >> we mention of the cases where traffickers have gotten really high sentences around the country. and unless they have done it, in minneapolis they have done it. you did not hear one time about the criminals who abused the child, who bought sex from the child coming getting any time at all. it was not mentioned in any of these cases whatsoever. not one time were they actually went after the man who raped a child. so we real need to -- i think we have a misconception that these men are men who have a little bit of money -- maybe we get afraid o who they are and
don't want to shed light on them. >> we are wrong to have another round. >> let me just thank the chairman -- we are going to have another round. >> thank you all for your testimony. >> i have a couple of extra questions. mr. powell, it was on the news the other day, the report about you taking down the site. you mentioned something about the international side might not have been taken down. can you tell me what you are talking about? >> there are remaining erotic services categories in sites outside of the united states, including canada. ms. mcdougal might be able to speak more effectively to that. there are a number of issues country by country, as well as legal issues for that. i can tell you that something along the order of 97% of our
viewers in use is within the united states and canada. >> can a united states person access a foreign craigslist site? >> anyone anywhere can access the craigslist site anywhere. >> so what is the significance of taking down the site in the united states? >> the site in the u.s. was set up as part of an arrangement with a series of attorneys general last year. i think the intent was to do a number of things, capture credit-card intermission, captor phone information. we decided on september 3 to remove that category, and again have no intention of restoring it. >> if i am in washington d.c., accessing the canadian side, can i advertise services that would
be available in washington, d.c on the canadian side? >> yes, you could, but there were be simply no value whatsoever, because the individuals who view the site in montreal are living in montreal. >> how about someone in washington d.c. viewing the canadian site? >> i am not sure i understand. bixby said you could access any site from anywhere. if i am in washington d.c., accessing the canadian side, can i se that at posted their by someone offering services in washington d.c.? >> yes, you can, if you are in washington d.c., can you see the site in montreal? yes. >> can i posed services that would be available in washington d.c. on the montreal side? >> yes, but the utility is virtually zero, because the traffic that use the web pages for montreal or seattle or
miami or local populations, so if i were to place an ad in washington d.c. for something that i was selling or a job or a services at in another city, there would be no value whatsoever, because nobody near me is a patron of that. >> how long would it take people to figure out that the site they are loong at is the canadian side? >> that i cannot answer, but i can tell you from my impression of what has been happening over the past 10 days is that the people who are creating these s, who had previously used the adult services assets, have decided that there is no value in using craigslist anymore, so they a moving to other sites. >> indicated this is so prevalent, it the ads are there for everyone to notice, why a
you not stinging people right and left, but the people putting on ads and the people responding to such ads? >> there are a number of things going on in various cities around the country, utilizing the various web sites that are advertising this behavior. quite frankly, the problem is that l enforcement resources -- to have fractional impact on it, it would draw upon nearly every resour in nearly every department in order to do it. is that large. when it really comes down to it, mr. chairman, craigslist is really one of many. to their credit, not nearly the worst, when it comes down to this problem. >> if you went on those sting operations, you would be kedging people right and left. >> sooner or later they catch on
to us. >> there ought to be some risk in posting such an ad. >> absolutely, but the risk is not there nowsir. >> that is because there is no one stinging people. the police officers are not responding to that adds, setting up meetings. >> there are some. philadelphia police just did a stain targeting craigslist users. a florida share of just did a staying. clearly, one of the messages from a lot of these ads is they have ceased to be subtle. they are blatant and overt. on that basis, i think are reasonable case can be made that there is knong an intentional selling of svices via the internet. i think there could possibly be criminal jurisdiction, even under the communications decency
act. >> if the ad is there, what can we create some risk in even posting the ad by having the police respond to the ads and vigor and now you posted it, and catching them and prosecuting them? >> i think is happening, just not widely enough. >> is a matter of resources? >> mr. chairman, i believe we have a decent record of success. would call it an excellent record of success since 2003 with our innocence lost national initiative. we have prosecuted more than 600 offenders at the state and local level and recovered more than 1100 children. while i would agree with mr. allen, --
>> the on order magnitude that is about 1 per congressional district. this is something that is widespread and notorious. you ought to be catching people in every city and town. >> as we concede and the national strategy, a child exportation is at epidemic levels. it is one ofhe reasons we have recommit ourselves to this fight against child exploitation. we have launched a national strategy working group and are working with partners toevelop ideas. >> if you decided to set up a sting, how long would it take to catch somebody? >> quite frankly, it does not take very long in terms of -- well, long is relative. it would take less than half an
hour for someone to hit on the interest being put out before them, but it may take several hours to make contact and be able to bring that person to justice. so for one person, it could be a day lo operation to bring one person down. they hit on these -- >> if you went on the , you are talking about one person, one police officer, by the end of the year that is 300. >> in theory that is possible, but it takes more than one police officer to do it. the resources would on average drained most police departments focusing on this alone. >> once you start going after people, presumably you would have less of a problem because people would feel there is some risk involved.
what services to the victims need, and how mh do these services cost? >> that is a very important question. the mission and all these raids, i would like to say how many receive different services, how many are still receiving a victim services. i will have to go with the chief as well and say that when you do these rates, you need services. this is not something you need two years or six months until the case is over. there are small amounts of housing. indeed outreach, a hot line, 24-hour care. for these victims, it is not 9 to 5.
how many receive services? how many were not detained for their own safety? >> what kind of services are needed, and how much they cost? >> to run a group home is $600,000 a year. for a month of service is not in a group home, would be about $5,000 a month for one child. that includes all services. >> that is part of a problem in that the radical aspect of a single operation to bring in one person. there is not a place to put the victims, they will go back into the system. there has to be a collaborative effort. >> did you ever get forfeiture? how successful are you in getting that?
>> >> it cannot get houses and cars? >> these perpetrators are so kilt -- so skilled at growing american -- it squirreling away money, it takes years. >> we have been working with the national conference of state legislatures. a number of them have been enacting laws providing for asset forfeiture, restitution, and in a lot of these cases, the criminal penalties are not very gh. they are making it painful for the customers in these cases. i think there is enormous benefit in exploring techniques, and i think it will also create deterrence and attack the demand side by making it hard for these guys, even if it is only
financial. they can help pay for the necessary treatment and the nessary follow-up that these victims need. >> what preventive services, prevention initiatives can we pursue that will reduce the chances that young children will get involved in this? . . the prevention options are there. we know the children who become victims of trafficking. right now, we criminalize them at adolescents instead of looking at gaps at an earlier age. >> we have found that those who
are responsible for the care and protection of children are not working together. we could eliminate a lot of redundancy if we would coordinate services. the second point i want to make is that our analysis has shown that if we were to analyze what it would take to house and care for young women in specialized facilities, it would be less than it would take for that young women to be held in juvenile detention. >> thank you. it seems to me that the solicitation itself, with the intended to induce a child, could be a federal offense.
we might need to work on something that we already have under the act to make the inducement a crime without having to go through the entire process that you mentioned that takes a lot of work. placing of the ad may come under the purview as well. we have several issues. we have a cultural issue where we as a culture have to realize that these young ladies, for the most part, our crime of victims. they are victims, not criminals. we have the second issue of making sure that these young victims understand that they are going to be treated as a victim so that they do not lose hope when they are in a situation where they feel like, even if i could tell somebody, they are going to treat me like a criminal. we have to remove that stigma, that they understand that we as a culture are going to treat them as crime victims. then, down the road, we have to
allocate a lot of resources. and that is part of the problem, in my opinion. it is going to cost a lot of money to rescue the people in this situation and take care of them. but we want to do something, i think, to make the situation better not worse, not make it more difficult, and let the criminals know that they are not going to be able to get away with this. we are going to go after them with everything "we can, to put them out of business and make them pay. the price is too heavy because the penalty is too great. that includes the trafficker, the person who wants to use this demand, the john, as we call them. thank you. i yield back. >> i think as we conclude this
hearing, what we have cleaned and what we all knew coming in is that this is not a victimless crime, and that the rich and comfortable persons, whomever it might be there are engaging, are doing harm. it is not harmless. it seems to me that throughout our history sex crimes have been viewed as harmless, or as the victim's fault, or their parents gave them a way so that they could be utilized. i believe it is crucial that we raise the ante on the heinous as of this crime, and that no one will get away.
she threw out a number, because chairman scott made a good point. i really appreciate the work of this department. it is restores -- resource base. it is about one child per district, and i know that we are not even touching even minimal the depth of the problem in this country alone. chief, what would it take? you are one police department. we have not heard from new york. we have not heard from chicago. major cities. you are in a smaller area, but certainly california is big. texas is big. what would be the cost? >> i would like to be able to give you an exact figure but i would say that i agree that an example needs to be made. we need to get out there and
start singing to them. the word will get out and it will make -- start stinging them. the word will get out and it will make a difference. in at the sacramento region with the resources standing by ready and willing to make a difference, if you give us one year and a minimum of $2 million, we would make a difference. >> what is the population you would be covering? >> for this particular region, with the multi-county cooperation we currently have and this -- have in this, we are looking at a population area in excess of 10 million people. >> thank you. i will not all due to that number, but you've made an important point -- i will not hold you up to that number but you made an important point.
this works better when people work together. >> it is very important, and for the eastern district of california where we are currently working out of the u.s. attorney's office with their leadership there, we stretched into a minimum of half a dozen counties that are currently on board and ready to be part of a strategic, collaborative effort to combat this problem. >> do you have a database that would take you directly to the perpetrators specifically of child victims. would that be helpful leavitt was narrowed to that extent? >> yes, that would be very helpful. >> use a 97% of the utilization is canada and the -- you said
97% of the utilization is canada and the united states. we do not diminish the 3%, but it is certainly smaller than three -- than 97%. canada is a big player in the craigslist. the challenge that you have a disagreement that i have with you is that we are in a fluid and fairly mobile society. i disagree that it being on canada with no restrictions poses an insignificant problem. i am really going to ask the question for you to take back to the owners and leadership, and certainly the idea of cooperation -- this looks like a
treaty issue or a diplomatic question for canada because they are a sovereign nation. but the fact that craigslist has these services in canada, that just means that i get on and i am able to read this. if i am able to read it, i move around. that is my neighbor. i am going to ask you to find out the logistics of how it relates to this issue in canada and respond back to this committee, because i am going to ask is to answer something you cannot, which is that they should shut down in canada. that is something inaccessible, easy reach for some of the united states to take advantage of. you are pointing to your attorney. it looks like you would like to
say something. >> as i indicated are there, there are some legal issues. legal issues. >> we have been meeting in cathe officers that are leading the exploitation endeavors. at this point, they have different considerations, they are a sovereign nation. they don't believe that it is appropriate for the u.s. policy to dictate what this should be but we are actively engaged in those discussions with canada. >> let me finish on this note. the have a contract between craigslist and the canadian government? >> know. >> hugh you are a private business. my understanding is that a private business sells what they
want to sell. i don't understand the legal oversight that canada has to tell a private business that i will not provide you because we have heard that you will go to other sites. i am not willing to have this line item, what it is in jeopardy as it relates to canadian government has and how long. >> even in the u.s. there is n a contract between craigslist and the government and the -- >> you pulled this down on your own. why can't you take it off to get it up? >> my point with canada is that this needs to be a decision with
the canadian authorities on whether or not to do this. we're working actively to address their concerns but so far the u.s. has told us that they wanted it shut down. if canada would like a different solution, we needo respect that. >> let me say that i disagree with you. if gm decides not to sell their most profitable vehicles in canada because they would like to this to be only four americans, they make a business decision that they want to keep whatever it is here to sell. >> this is a business judgment that the company makes. the government would ask why you are doing this and mike made
some kind of lead or statement whether it is positive. i don't see the point of negotiating. >> a lot of as is the group's think that taking down adult services was the wrong thing to do. it ges no where for legitimate adult services to has a form. many at the ad is the group's steel it is much more difficult. -- feel it is much more difficult. >> it has not gone ahead and happened in canada because canada has not said that they think this is the answer. >> let me conclude that we will
agree to disagree. law enforcement has said that this test generated an opportunity for them to press for the victims and then find the perpetrators. i would say that with the chief we might give him other resources to find these perpetrators and not proliferate sites and other places. i think that this is probably a problem. maybe i am misreading what adult services are. i do sink fed -- thank you for their opportunity and i have gleaned from the testimony and statements made by all of these individuals that we have work to do. if we have any seitivity about
taking it to the highest level and ylding nothing, we need to simply look at the child that has been the continuing fit them for the eons of our civilization going beyond the boundaries of the united states. i would think it would >> today, the house majority leader and speaker nancy pelosi talked about tax cuts that will expire at the end of the year. later, a debate about stem cell research funding. research funding.