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Human Rights Groups To Protest At Craigslist's HQ

SAN FRANCISCO -- On July 8, 2010 at noon the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women(CATW), Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) and our over 75 Co-Sponsors will protest Craigslist's facilitation of sex trafficking at Craigslist's office, 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

A large portion of Craigslist's profits come from the sale of commercial sexual exploitation, much of it trafficked, all of it prostituted. Craigslist normalizes and facilitates online pimping - providing an outlet and incentive for sex traffickers to reach buyers of human beings. "By providing traffickers and johns with a virtual red light district, Craigslist is aiding, abetting and enormously profiting from sex trafficking," says Norma Ramos, Executive Director of CATW.

Our protest is co-sponsored by 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations and prominent individuals including Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, Soroptimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloneyand Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand for prostitution along with impunity for its buyers. According to Melissa Farley, author of 20 research articles on trafficking for prostitution, "Today, a majority of men buy sex online from women or children, many of whom are trafficked or controlled by third parties.  Craigslist mainstreams prostitution as 'Adult Services'. This protest exposes these ads for what they really are:  the sale of sexual exploitation, paid rape, child abuse, and trafficking."

Craigslist has defied and defeated the efforts of Attorneys General, a high profile lawsuit and members of Congress who have tried to put an end to their facilitation of sex trafficking. Despite evidence of criminal activity associated with its website, Craigslist remains above the law. "We are sending a message to Craigslist from the human rights community that by hosting these ads they are partially responsible for much of the rank exploitation that is human trafficking," says Ms. Ramos.

We are calling upon Craigslist to close the euphemistically named "Adult Services" section of their website and set a sex industry-free standard which would help to eliminate human trafficking on the internet.

Speakers include: Joy Friedman, Breaking Free; Glenda Hope, Executive Director, SafeHouse San Francisco for Homeless Women Escaping Prostitution; Victor Malarek, Author/Activist; Aaron Cohen, Author/Activist; Terria Joseph, Actor.

For a complete list of the 75 Co-Sponsors who have joined CATW and PRE visit our websites at www.catwinternational.organd www.prostitutionresearch.com.



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