Major Child Prostitution Bust: But Are Authorities Treating the Causes or Symptoms?
A coordinated cross-country FBI crackdown on child prostitution rings, from D.C. to Seattle, scored some shocking numbers last week. When the three-day initiative was all said and done, the task force recovered 69 children and arrested 884 individuals, including 99 pimps.
Sounds like a job well done for the feds. But Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media (MIM), an organization dedicated to curtailing obscenity, especially of the variety that harms children and families, says it’s not enough, stating that it’s only a victory in treating the symptoms of the problem.
“Federal law enforcement agencies are to be commended for their efforts to curb sexual exploitation of children,” says Peters. “But when it comes to the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography that is contributing to that exploitation, the federal ‘policy’ is ‘See no evil, think no evil and act accordingly by doing nothing’.”
As a guest on our show, Peters can speak to this contention that adult pornography does indeed lead to child exploitation, offering numerous research studies that back up the argument. Further, he can provide insight into why the proliferation and accessibility of such material continue to accelerate out of control, in spite of the fact that federal obscenity laws are in place.
And it’s not as if the federal government hasn’t been warned.
Peters points out that, “The Congressionally-created COPA panel (Commission on Online Child Protection) included the following recommendation in its 2000 Final Report:
“Specifically, the Commission recommends that government at all levels fund aggressive programs to investigate and prosecute violations of obscenity laws…This investigation and prosecution program should supplement the government’s existing effort to investigate and prosecute child sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography…Such a program should be of sufficient magnitude to deter effectively illegal activity on the Internet.”
“Despite this recommendation,” says Peters, “the Justice Department continues to focus almost exclusively on sexual exploitation of children crimes; and Congress goes along with this nonfeasance by remaining silent and failing to fund enforcement of federal obscenity laws.”