Last Thursday, Geebo was a part of something special.
On July 8, 2010, over 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations converged on the Craigslist headquarters in San Francisco, CA, to protest Craigslist’s blatant facilitation of the sex trade industry. We stood alongside prominent groups and individuals such as Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, So optimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier. It was truly empowering.
The mission and purpose of the protest hosted by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and Prostitution Research and Education (PRE), was to convince Craigslist to eliminate their pseudonym-friendly “Adult Services” section. In Craigslist’s own hometown of San Francisco, over 18,000 advertisements were posted in October 2008 on their Craigslist “Adult Services” section for prostitution. Of course, they were “cleverly” classified as “escort”, “massage”, “erotic”, and “adult” services. There were also a few for “adult entertainment”…to really throw people off. The scariest part of those 18,000 postings is that it is only one city. And only one month.
“A majority of men buy sex online many of whom are trafficked or prostituted by third parties. By continuing to allow sex ads Craigslist is continuing to support prostitution and sex trafficking under their Adult Services Section,” states Dr. Melissa Farley, PRE Executive Director. This needs to stop.
We may have made a significant step forward last Thursday… but we have a long way to go. Until Craigslist removes their “Adult Services” section and begins to monitoring submissions, we will continue to speak up. And until sex-trafficking ends, we will continue to fight. Victory will be found in perseverance.
Guess who hasn’t caught on though? Craigslist. In true Craigslist form, no one has even been available to comment on last week’s protest. Bawk-bawk.