We were thrilled about the FBI’s efforts this past weekend in Operation Cross Country as they rescued 105 victims of child sex trafficking AND arrested adults who were responsible for this exploitation. So much amazing work has been done in this arena, and such progress has been made. However, despite all of that work and progress, and all the awareness that has been raised, the children who are affected by this horrific injustice are still often treated as criminals, rather than victims. Check out this letter that youthSpark’s Kaffie McCullough wrote to the editor of the AJC on this topic:
I was dismayed, discouraged, and disgusted to read the first sentence in the AJC article “Crackdown on child sex trafficking nets arrests” which reads “Two underage girls suspected of being prostitutes . . . . “. I have been working in the field of child sex trafficking for almost fifteen years and thought that the media was now better informed than to be labeling underage child victims as prostitutes. There is no way that a child, forced onto the streets to provide profit for one set of adults and sexual pleasure for another set of adults, should be labeled as a criminal. The AJC should edit their own articles better so that the most vulnerable of our community are seen as the victims that they are – and not just fodder for a good story where the mis-labeling perpetuates the problem.