The fight against child sex trafficking saw a big domestic win last week, as law enforcement officials rescued 168 child victims of commercial sex trafficking in a nationwide child sex trafficking bust. Along with the children rescued, the FBI reported that 281 alleged pimps were arrested.
FBI Child Sex Trafficking Bust: Operation Cross Country
Known as “Operation Cross Country,” the child sex trafficking crackdown took place in 106 cities across the United States, with the largest number of children recovered in Denver. The sting involved 54 FBI field divisions and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Among the locations targeted were truck stops, casinos, websites that advertise dating or escort services and metro areas populated by strip clubs and pornography stores.
Child Sex Trafficking on American Soil
“These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life. These are our children. These are America’s children.” – James Comey, FBI Director
Last week’s operation is part of a larger initiative in place over the past seven years that has identified and recovered about 3,400 children who have been sexually exploited in the United States alone. Some of the recently rescued children were runaways lured into the sex trafficking industry, too scared to flee.
Creating Awareness for Youth At Risk
“Operation Cross Country reveals that children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day,” – John Ryan, president and CEO, NCMEC
NCMEC knows, better than most, that the issue of child sex trafficking is a problem that is often overlooked, but very prevalent in the domestic United States. At Thorn, we are doing our part to continue to shed light on youth at risk for child sex trafficking and to combat the problem through technology innovation.
Educate yourself about the warning signs for children at risk for child sex trafficking and learn about the tools available to help you act if you see a questionable situation.
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