Child Sex Trafficking On The Rise In D.c. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Child Sex Trafficking On The Rise In D.c.

Play associated audio

Police in D.C. count the sex-trafficking of minors among Washington's most under-reported crimes. A new public-awareness campaign is hoping to change that.

So far this year, officers in D.C. have identified more than 50 victims of human trafficking--15 were minors.

"This has probably been one of the hardest issues of my life," said Linda Smith. "Because these kids look like my own kids."

Linda Smith is the founder of Shared Hope International, an international non-profit dedicated to preventing child sex-trafficking.

She says wealth in the D.C. area has helped turn the region into a sex trafficking hub. "A pimp can bring a girl to D.C., dress her up, advertise her on an erotic website, put her in a fancy room and make thousands of dollars off of her this week, and probably tens of thousands," said Smith.

Shared Hope International is working with other non-profits and law enforcement in Washington on a program they are calling "End Child Sex Trafficking: Kids Are Not For Sale In D.C."

Organizers of the campaign have plastered bright yellow signs in Metro stations, and placed ads in the Adult Classifieds. They warn of stiff penalties for people thinking about buying sex, and--as D.C. Police Captain Charles Morris points out, for people thinking about selling it.

"Dealing with 13-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 14-year-olds, you're able to control. And that's what we have to take away," said Morris.

The D.C. Council also is considering legislation to reduce sex-trafficking in the District.

Rebecca Sheir reports...

NPR

Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

The eight-part drama that begins Thursday stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a British baroness with an Israeli passport. She's a fearless actor in a show full of kidnappings, seductions and betrayals.
NPR

When China Spurns GMO Corn Imports, American Farmers Lose Billions

China has been a big and growing market for U.S. corn. But then farmers started planting a kind of genetically engineered corn that's not yet approved in China, and the Chinese government struck back.
WAMU 88.5

On Cantor's Last Day As House Majority Leader, Debate Surrounds His Legacy

In his last address to colleagues as Majority Leader, Cantor told his colleagues to remember the House's bipartisan accomplishments.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.