Stop Online Sex Trafficking – Call NOW to Support FOSTA-SESTA Act
Urge Congress to close the loophole that allows tech companies to advertise trafficked women and children LEGALLY. Tell Congress to tackle the illegal sex trade and pass the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).
The House votes on Tuesday, February 27th on its version of SESTA, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and need to hear from you! Call your US Representative and urge them to pass the FOSTA-SESTA version of the bill that adopts a victim-centered approach.
Use the sample scripts below but first, get the facts…
How is this happening? Our coalition, World Without Exploitation, explains the problem:
The $99 billion global sex trade is being increasingly powered by the internet, where traffickers and pimps operate with anonymity and impunity. According to Thorn, an agency that studies technology’s role in sex trafficking, 63% of the child sex trafficking survivors the agency surveyed were at one point sold online. Websites like Backpage post more than 100,000 escort ads every day. They reap these profits because of, and not despite, federal law.
When victims of sexual exploitation, including minors and their parents, filed civil lawsuits against Backpage, company executives successfully argued that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a provision originally intended to protect free speech and legal commerce — provided them with broad immunity from prosecution for the ads running on their website. That same argument has been employed by Backpage to avoid state criminal accountability for human trafficking.
This is particularly troubling because Backpage has proven to be an active, and not just passive, participant in sexual exploitation. After a two-year inquiry, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a January 2017 report that makes clear that Backpage knew that children were being trafficked through its website. (Read more.)
These facts speak for themselves.
Please call your Congressional leaders and explain why FOSTA-SESTA must be passed.
Here’s a sample script for your Representative:
“My name is ___ and I live in Representative ___’s Congressional District. I am calling to express my strong support for H.R. 1865 – Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, also known as the FOSTA-SESTA legislation. I would also like to Representative __ to support the amendment being offered by Representative Mimi Walters that will provide survivors and law enforcement with the legal tools to identify and target websites that are knowingly facilitating human trafficking, and oppose any amendment that would weaken the bill. Thank you.
Here’s a sample script for your Senator:
“Hi, my name is _____ and I’m from _____. I’m calling on Senator _____ to pass the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, FOSTA-SESTA S.1693 to prevent the advertisement of trafficked survivors online. By allowing pimps to promote the illegal sex trade of women and children and enabling tech companies to collect profits from it, the US government is essentially turning its back on an extremely vulnerable population. Please support SESTA and protect trafficking survivors, not pimps and advertisers. Thank you.”
Learn more about World Without Exploitation and the campaign here.