52 children recovered, 60 alleged child pimps arrested in crackdown -- but have you heard about it?

Every year, over 100,000 underage American children are victimised in the child sex-slave trade -- average age? -- ELEVEN!
Every year, over 100,000 underage American children are victimised in the child sex-slave trade -- average age? -- ELEVEN!

A new video: The Rape Trade

The news non-story and the truth behind it.

In today’s (Oct. 26) headlines from CNN’s computer stream: 52 children recovered, 60 alleged child pimps arrested in crackdown

After thirty-years as a child protection worker, a writer of two works of fiction centered on this issue, a previous article ‘The Rape of the Innocents’ here on hubpages -- you better believe it -- this one definitely caught my eye.

I read further: “(CNN) -- Law enforcement authorities have recovered 52 children and arrested 60 pimps allegedly involved in child prostitution, the FBI announced Monday.

More than 690 people in all were arrested on state and local charges, the FBI stated.”

Good journalism, nothing but the facts, and since this deals with underage victims of crime, appropriately, no details are provided. I understand the necessity; I should – I worked in this field.

The piece quoted the FBI: "Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces," Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, said in a written statement. "There is no work more important than protecting America's children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization."

Well spoken, don’t you think, but a little bit of spouting the obvious, and still no details into the scope of the operation, how they were found, the types of people arrested (690? – arrested in an investigation surrounding 52 children. Does your imagination stretch enough to consider what this means?)

And who instigated this investigation? “The initiative, conducted with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has so far resulted in the recovery of almost 900 children, according to the FBI. It has also led to more than 500 convictions.”

It is part of the Innocence Lost Campaign, started in 2003 to deal with the problem of child trafficking and prostitution (the more apt term would sex slavery.) In the six years since inception, this program is proud to announce the following statistics:

Statistics (as of October 2009)
Founded: June 2003
Children Recovered: 886
Seizures: Over $3 million
Convictions: 510

Task Forces & Working Groups: 34

Now what’s really surprising about this story which came across CNN’s computer feed, is that I’ve had CNN on the television all day (hey, it beats listening to soap operas and the other flotsam of daytime TV) and there hasn’t been a single mention of this story.

Surely, it was of more importance than the piece on the influence of sports, and which members of President Obama's entourage played what sport. Or the now tedious coverage of the unstable family of the “Balloon Boy.”

Yes, they did a touching piece on the fate of Afghani boys forced to dance for and sexually service powerful men in that country, and a real tear jerker it was. “It would be better if Allah killed us, than forcing us to live like this,” said one youth for the cameras.

But not one word about the 52 children, here in America, right in your back yard, just liberated from a life most of you can’t imagine. Why is that?

Not a peep!

Is it more newsworthy (or politically expedient) to report on the perversions and corruptions of a Muslim country than to rake up the stinking muck found here at home? But this hub isn't about the political slant of the news and the method of delivery. No. I want to come back to the 52 children here in the U.S. rescued in the last three days.

Why isn’t America outraged? This story should be screamed out in blazing headlines from every media source available. But it isn’t. And the Afghani boys are on the screen as I write, for the fourth repetition in two hours.

It might be because the American children are protected by shield laws, and therefore so are those arrested. It could be because the few who do notice this story have no idea what has happened to these children.

So let me give you a behind the scenes look. I’ve been there. I’ve talked with children fresh from this hell. I’ll tell you what the news can’t or won’t.

The truth about trafficked children in the U.S., slaves in the sex trade:

Report: U.S. officials unaware of child sex-trafficking problem

Oct 5, 2009 | by Cindy Ortiz

WASHINGTON (BP)--Most Americans, including far too many government officials, have no idea that children under the age of 18 are being shipped from state to state as child prostitutes, according to a report from an anti-sex trafficking organization.

In fact, an estimated 100,000 American children under 18 years of age are victimized through prostitution every year and children rented for sex acts might be raped 6,000 times over the course of five years. In addition, the United States should be -- but is not -- listed on the "Tier 2" watch list in the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report.

Well these figures certainly put the FBI’s statistics in perspective don’t they? One hundred thousand children under the age of eighteen trafficked and victimized every year. And in six years, the FBI has liberated 886. That’s not what I'd call a sizeable dent in the problem. Sorry, we should be able to protect our children better than this.

But back to this interesting article:

Demonstrating the magnitude of the problem for a single child trapped in sexual slavery, SHI said in its 82-page report published in May: "A domestic minor sex trafficking victim who is rented for sex acts with five different men per night, for five nights per week, for an average of five years, would be raped by 6,000 buyers during the course of her victimization through prostitution."

Rep. Chris Smith, R.-N.J., who authored the TVPA, said, "It is a problem all over the world and the United States is no exception. There are new victims in our country every day."

Well, horrific as the idea of a child raped five times a night for five years is, most children don’t survive that long. There are those who will pay for a child dispirited, broken, no longer exciting. Why? For the thrill of killing them. And no, I’m not making this up. Such an experience can be purchased for around $200.

But that is just for those that survive long enough to be soiled goods and hard to market. Most children in the sex trade die from infection, malnutrition, are beaten to death by their keepers, or simply die of despair. Most dogs in a kennel are kept in better surroundings than these children. They are expendable, disposable and only a commodity. There’s always more where she or he came from.

Here’s another excellent article to consider:

America's Trafficked Children Are Being Arrested, Not Rescued by Melissa Snow

Published July 22, 2009 @ 12:00PM PT

This was the topic of an unprecedented congressional briefing on capitol hill that took place yesterday. Co- sponsored by the Caucus on Victims' Rights and the Caucus on Human Trafficking, Congressman Chris Smith, Congressman Ted Poe, and Congressman Jim Costa were attentively listening to the challenges and recommendations of the panelists in addressing child sex slavery in America. In addition to the Congressman in attendance - the room was packed with nearly 80 congressional staffers and professionals. A clear message was sent that we are concerned about every victim exploited through the crime of human trafficking and that includes hundreds of thousands of American kids - every year.

The report reveals the shocking findings of three years of intensive research on the issue of child sex trafficking in America from ten locations across the U.S. While the research locations ranged from areas as diverse as Salt Lake City, Utah to Clearwater, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada the findings were hauntingly similar - underage American girls are the bulk of victims in commercial sex markets and are too often being arrested rather than rescued. Additionally, nearly every interview revealed that American child sex trafficking victims were being misidentified or not identified at all by Child Protective Services and social service providers who are responsible for providing proper treatment and care. The arrest and lack of specialized services for these children is causing revictimization.

In other words, when these children are discovered by one means or another, most of the time they are arrested, and treated as criminals, as though they were sex slaves out of choice. These girls received no counseling, no assistance, no understanding that they are victims.

A year ago, while researching for a report, I found the following article in PDF format:

Sex Trafficking of Children in America

Girls Lured or Kidnapped into Prostitution

Nov 10, 2008 Martha R. Gore

Children being used by sex traffickers in America range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11 years old. Efforts are being made to rescue them

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are sex trafficked every day. Many victims are not runaways or kids who have been abandoned but rather have been lured or coerced by clever predators.

Children as Sex Slaves in America

Many Americans often connect human trafficking as being a problem in other parts of the world, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Latin America and eastern Europe. However the reality is that there are thousands of young American girls who have been abducted or lured from their normal lives to become sex slaves. The predators that prey on them are very adept at reading children and knowing what their vulnerabilities are.

Well, there you have it. Most of these girls – average age 11 -- are not imports from Russia, not girls sold by impoverished families in the far east – no -- most of them come from right here. They are American children, and though I don’t wish to disagree with this excellent well-researched piece, most of the girls I’ve worked with were not lured or coerced – they were downright snatched.

They were on their way home from an event, or even school and taken, just like that. And their families called the police, and their pictures joined the thousands of other lost children, but by the time anyone was actively looking for them, they were miles from home – thousands of miles, their hair likely dyed or cut, and the process of terrorization and rape already underway.

Can you imagine what it must be like? -- to be nine, ten or eleven-years-old, taken from your mom, your home, everything you know? You are now a thing, to be used, to be abused, raped, sodomized, beaten. Strangers are sticking their unwashed penises in your mouth. They poke and pry into your orifices doing as they wish to you. If they like to hit; they pay to hit you. They can pee on you, shit on you, bend you backwards if that’s what gets them going – so long as they pay for it.

And when they are finished with you, you are locked up with perhaps a dirty mattress to lay your aching body on. You’re lucky if you have water to wash your violated body, or even to drink. And should you try to object, to run, to refuse – you are beaten and tortured, until you no longer have the will to try. They own you.

If you do survive long enough to be a fifteen or sixteen-year-old whore, and your keepers no longer have to keep your existence and their trade such a dark secret, you’ll probably be sold again, to a pimp who runs young women on the street. You’re far too broken to consider escape, to protest. All you can think of is surviving another day, hopefully without a beating. You’re numb and have long since learned how to flee your body when things happen to you. Of course, this frustrates those who pay for you, so they must go to extremes to get the reaction they want, the ones that turn them on.

And then, one day, after years of this existence, when a police officer flashes his badge after you’ve quoted your price, you’re arrested and charged with a crime.

But take heart! Today 52 children were liberated – even if CNN didn’t say a thing about it.

Links to Related Articles

For thirty years I worked as an outreach worker in child protection. It was my job to befriend the victims, give them understanding ears to pour their story into, hands to hold theirs and act as their advocate. I give you the shocking statistics child protection workers know, but never see published, and the faces and stories behind the numbers.

Society is once again shocked at the loss of two more of our children to a dangerous, violent sex offender. What are our lawmakers doing to protect our children. Is it enough? Too much? The sex offender registry -- does this help or hinder law enforcement? What are society's options.

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Comments 66 comments

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pgrundy 7 years ago

Americans basically don't want to hear it and don't care anyway. Is this too harsh? I don't think so. I've written on this topic before and I get the predictable drek about how it's a choice (at 11, 12, 13?) and a few hysterics saying "Cut the perps balls off!" because it makes them feel righteous, but basically, very few people want to 1) believe it. 2) care. Mostly when I write on this topic, I get attacked. I'm hysterical. I'm "too angry". I'm distorting the facts. It isn't really that bad, I'm exaggerating. Some kids DO want to do it. And so on. Crap and more crap.

Years of experience with other people's ignorant reactions have convinced me that people are, by and large, selfish, shallow, and bad. I'm not kidding.

Thank you though for your continuing efforts to expose this and for your obvious compassion and intelligence. If only there were millions more of you.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

Makes you think about what and how headlines make it to the top. This rescue is but a small step towards helping these young innocents. Thanks for the eye opener.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello pgrundy, no one will get away with attacking me on the grounds I'm distorting the facts -- if anything I've whitewashed them. I've been there in the trenches along with law enforcement, assisting with the victims. Go ahead and attack, and I'll pull in such graphic proof you'll wish you hadn't. It seems to me Americans don't want to face a lot of nasty truths. Doesn't mean we should stop writing about it. But thanks for the heads up. By the way, I hope you're feeling better.

Hi Beth100, yes it does, indeed. Why a story about the plight of Afghani youth and nothing on this story? Do you think someone has an agenda? Thanks so much for your visit.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA

lmmartin - Possibly many people cannot bring themselves to recognize this as being the large problem that it is. I wish I knew the answer to solving it. Gus

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Gus -- so do I, but I do know the answer isn't pretending it isn't happening. Thanks for dropping in.

Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 7 years ago from New York

Thanks for your hub, Immartin. Please keep up your efforts to keep this issue in the forefront of our national consciousness. Clearly something drastic needs to be done to eliminate this horrific reality. What do you suggest?


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello Quillographer and welcome to my hubs. What do I suggest? -- stop accepting this as some far distant news, for one, spread the word, demand law enforcement recognize the problem for what it truly is, email CNN and ask them why they didn't cover this story, don't allow people to speak of prostitutes as subhuman -- tell them the truth, volunteer at the local crisis shelter, donate to child find, talk to law enforcement personnel in your area about the problem, write letters to your elected officials demanding this be made a priority, pray.

Glad to meet you and hope you come back.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA

lmmartin - "The FBI said it has rescued more than 50 children who were being victimized through prostitution in a national sting. The operation, part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, took place in 36 cities over the past 72 hours. The FBI said 631 others, including 60 pimps, were arrested on local and state charges.

This was on Fox news' Web site and likely was on their TV deal as well. I don't know about that, for I don't watch either Fox or CNN. Gus

kartika damon 7 years ago

This is an outstanding article on this subject. I was considering doing an article on the subject myself because my guru, Amma, has brought serious attention to it - she mentions this horror in some of her public talks. I know it is prevalent world wide, but have not researched it and did not hear about this case either (which, as you say, is absurd!)How can there be so many sadistic and depraved men who feed of this industry? I agree speaking out on the topic increases people's awareness of the issue and that is critical. I also believe any one involved in this industry and those who feed off it need to get life - this crime is equivalent to murder. Kartika

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

UPDATE: Today, (Oct.27) CNN did broadcast the bare bones of this story, along with the comment, "Child prostituition does exist in the U.S., but considerably reduced after today." The details given were the bare bones statistic quote above and with the added "The youngest of these children was ten." About 30 seconds worth of airtime. Then the story on the Afghani boys got two minutes, along with pictures, and background.

Yesterday, I emailed CNN with a copy of this article, and demanded to know why this story was not given air time. And why the plight of the Afghani boys was considered more newsworthy. My reply was brief and amounted to, those stories chosen for live broadcast are subject to verification and editorial decision. The American audience is eager for news on Afghanistan in general, considering the decision to send in more troops.

More interested in Afghanistan, than the tragedies here at home? I doubt it.

Today, after hearing this little snipped, I emailed CNN again, asking, how can you suggest this action, involving 52 children, struck a decisive blow in the fight against child sex-slavery in America, considering 100,000 children fall victim to this terrible traffic every year?

If and when I get a response, I'll let you know what they say.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This story is a sad statement about our priorities as citizens and about our values. Thanks for bringing this to light. Brilliantly written.

There was a young girl on one of the talk shows this week (I record and filter the ones I watch)who spoke about being drugged by a school chum and taken by force to a location where she was held against her will, bitten and raped repeatedly for days. Luckily she was rescued from a car in a public place by a family member who recognized her. She stated that she was not believed by authorities when she identified the perps who remain in her neighborhood. Instead she was accused of being promiscuous. Yikes.

I fear that this is the reality rather than the exception.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi kartika, please do write the article. You're readership is higher than mine, and I'd be happy to share any of the research materials (tons) I have.

Hi Peg. Yes, I watched that special on MSNBC about teenage sex-slaves in America. Heart wrenching stories and I wished with all my heart I could have contacted them to help. However, it dealt with stories about girls who were haphazardly victimized, not the organized trafficking existent in this country. These predators share information on slaves, and the slaves themselves in an underground world which uses the internet and other means to advertise. This is not just a case where a disturbed girl is lured from her home and used, it is a profitable industry.

Thanks you for dropping in. If you want to help, email the major news agencies, use the background info here and ask them why the truth is not being reported.

kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

The news paid more attention to the kid who was believed to have gone up in the homemade space craft - the hoax! I think I will write on it at some time when I can devote the time it deserves, but you really nailed it in your article! One thing your hub and Peg's comments made me get is that this is so so huge and this is probably where all of these missing girls are ending up! I'm horrified! Kartika

apologetics_101 profile image

apologetics_101 7 years ago

I got this news in my email today from Citizenlink.com - I haven't watched TV news today - but did see this. It's a horrible thing and it's a good thing that you expose these sad and tragic events on your Hub. Good job! And thank you!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

And thank you. Please come and visit me again.

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lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Kartika -- Very few people are aware of the scope of this problem, or the tragedy. For some reason, the media shies away from reporting on this. I guess, like a lot of people, they buy into the myths -- children disappear and are living somewhere else because they were 1. fed up with home life 2. they chose to do so. And though they're never seen or heard of again, they're still out there, somewhere. The other myth is that street prostitutes chose the life, and that goes hand in hand with the idea they are immoral low lives and deserve what happens to them. A hooker turns up dead and no one cares. What is not understood is most street hookers are those of our missing children who survived child sex-slave traffic (somehow.)

It's very profitable, but then the slave-trade always has been. Yes, it is highly probable that many of our missing children have become victims of this traffic -- highly unlikely they were all abducted by space aliens. And even more improbable that they just went to live somewhere else, somewhere no one can find.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

UPDATE -- today, Oct.28 this is still all that's available on this story.

From CNN.com:

52 children recovered, 60 alleged child pimps arrested in crackdownOctober 26, 2009 2:43 p.m. EDT


3-day Operation Cross Country IV conducted on federal, state, local levels

FBI says more than 690 people in all were arrested on state, local charges

"Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country," FBI says

Operation is part of initiative aimed at ending domestic sex trafficking of children in U.S.


Child Abuse

Sexual Offenses

Prostitution and Sex Workers

(CNN) -- Law enforcement authorities have recovered 52 children and arrested 60 pimps allegedly involved in child prostitution, the FBI announced Monday.

More than 690 people in all were arrested on state and local charges, the FBI stated.

The arrests were made over the past three days as part of a nationwide law enforcement initiative conducted on the federal, state and local levels, the bureau said.

"Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces," Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, said in a written statement.

"There is no work more important than protecting America's children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization."

The three-day operation, tagged Operation Cross Country IV, included enforcement actions in 36 cities across 30 FBI divisions nationwide. It is part of the FBI's ongoing Innocence Lost National Initiative, which was created in 2003 with the goal of ending sex trafficking of children in the United States.

The initiative, conducted with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has so far resulted in the recovery of almost 900 children, according to the FBI. It has also led to more than 500 convictions.

Nan Mynatt 7 years ago

Thanks for bringing out the truth. We need to get our representative on this awful child molestation. Some of our representatives are also doing things that they should not do! That is the reason for them not cracking down on the destruction to our children. The current trend is their enjoyment at other people's expense. I hope that all of us reading your article will speak up.

susie wilder 7 years ago

This article has made me sick to my stomach. We spend more money on machinry than we do on saving our children, who really are our future. What is wrong with our governments ethics. Why not just get rid of the SICK, GREEDY, and CRAZY people and put them on the Island of no return. Leave our children alone. Lets take care of our Children first, and go from there. America is Amer I Can......Just do it. This makes me so angry....Come on government and all those involed in law enforcement, charity begins at home and move on from there....PLEASE, we need to stand united, because divided we will FALL, and our children are taking the FALL for us. Get real NOW.

Kathryn 7 years ago

Like you, I'm appalled at the stories given priority by CNN and others. They used to care about the news, but they've fallen into the habit of 'entertaining' instead. I think it's true that many Americans don't want to know what horrifying things are happening to children in their own back yards. They want to believe this country is safe and they've become adept at looking the other way. They think they're not strong enough to know what you know--what you've taught us--about child sexual exploitation. They think they have enough to cope with already, that there's nothing they can do, that it's not their problem--until it happens to their daughter. It's frightening how thoroughly people can pretend ugliness doesn't exist. The truth is, this is a huge problem for us--all of us--and I, like many others, feel overwhelmed and helpless.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Susie Wilder, I can see you are angry, and right to feel so. Thanks for visiting my hub and leaving your comment. You are right, united, even the smallest can make a difference.

Hello Kathryn, Unfortunately, I think the problem with the media goes beyond entertainment. Americans are being denied the truth about their society and what happens here, but at the same time, fed too many stories about the problems over there. There is a war to be fought at home as well. All it takes is for every small voice to speak up and together we make a big noise. Burying our heads in the sand, denying the problem will do nothing, and condemn these children to a terrible fate.

Jim 7 years ago

The best way to combat this type of explotation is by exposure. Great job bring this sad situation to our attention.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you, Jim and thanks for dropping by.

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pgrundy 7 years ago

Well, it takes more than just exposure. I mean, that's a good start. And writing our congresspersons and raising the consciousness of people who will listen--that all helps. But to make children a priority there have to be safe places they can go and people they can talk to. Right now in most parts of the U.S., if you are a kid in an abusive home you don't WANT to be taken out of it because 9 times out of 10 foster homes are even worse. Vice departments are a joke, and powerful politicians use prostitutes themselves and have little incentive to change anything.

Where I grew up, girls who ended up in prostitution as adolescents were often sexually abused by fathers or step-fathers, and this fact was then exploited by pimps and other people in the sex trade. Often parents who molest children are involved in other forms of sex for money or pornography, and they are ripe for blackmail. Lots of young girls (from the U.S., not third world countries) end up prostituted or on the streets because their parents are emotionally sick and are incapable of parenting, but we have nothing set up to intervene effectively.

IMO hysterical angry reactions make it worse--make it less likely that children will come forward. But people typically become hysterically angry in response and then...do nothing.

I appreciate Immartin's honesty and compassion, and I'm not saying just give up, forget it. I'm just pointing out that unless we all become willing to be our brother's keeper it's not going to happen.

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lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you for your take Pam, and much of what you say is true, but does not account for 100,000 children a year. Again, it has been my experience that as many kids who end up in this situation have come from loving stable homes as those who have not.

I also feel I must stand up for foster parents. Over the years it has been my pleasure to meet many, and most are dedicated people, trying hard to make a difference. It is very unfair to paint them this way, and to taint the whole for the few bad ones.

For the children who find themselves caught between abuse at home and abuse on the street, there are people that can help and I've been to many conferences of outreach and protection workers, and there are avenues available. There is a 1-800- kids help line across North America, and child protection services function much differently than common myth would have us believe. The real problem is that most kids would rather stick with the family they know, due to a complicated set of emotions.

I feel this is a delicate issue for you, one you tend to see very negatively, but hard as it is to face for us, the world does not run now as it did when we were girls.

Yes, some girls end up on the street after abuse from fathers, but this is not the majority, for many this is the last stage of commercial exploitation. Most have been victimised systematically through the organized industry I've explained in this article.

My argument here is not about how we as a society do not successfully intervene in unhappy, dysfuntional homes, because often we do and successfully. I am talking about a business that takes children -- not lures troubled ones -- just steals them from their lives and sells them as lambs to the slaughter to feed an ever increasing sex-slave market.

It is not a social services lapse, or failure to mediate in homes -- it is a law-enforcement lapse, further evidenced by two days of complete silence now since this story first broke.

We do not know how our society would respond because the majority of people in this country does not understand the scope and nature of this commercial, profitable industry. Why? Because they are no told of the truth. The next time you look at a wall of photographs -- have you seen this child? -- think on this, because there are many devoted, loving parents who have no idea of what has happened to their children.

And it is not my compassion that leads me to write on this subject, it is a passion I have followed and fought most of my adult life. Through these years I've met many colleagues who also fight the good fight, and there are more of them than you know.

In closing, I ask you to accept that the ideas you put forth here are true but only to a minority of cases. The majority of these children are stolen goods.

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pgrundy 7 years ago

It is a difficult issue for me. I'm willing to accept that there are different situations as you say, and some of it comes down to stolen children. I can't be objective or calm about it and I know that. But we're not enemies, I just see one facet of it and you address another. Thanks.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Of course, Pam. In fact we don't even disagree. It isn't that we disagree on one issue. We are talking about two very different ones. You are expressing concern about familial abuse, and here I am talking about commercial exploitation.

And I know it is a difficult issue for you and many, many others. And your candid sharing on my previous hub which dealt with familial sexual abuse made that clear.

These are two arms of one problem -- the safety of our children.

And never, ever enemies.

retellect profile image

retellect 7 years ago from United Kingdom

The media tells us what they want us to know. If it poses no monetary gain they don't really focus on it too much. That's my opinion!

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Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Immartin, I am heartsick reading this. I had not heard this until I read your HUB.

I know it's not much, but I am passing this on to as many people as I can. We need to hear this!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you retellect. You are right, but I believe there is another motive -- again today I saw a story on women in Iraq forced to become prostitutes because their husbands are dead. Same thing again. What goes on at home is swept away, but the problems of the muslim countries -- now they are news. Gee -- I wonder why that is.

Oh good dear Duchess -- you're back visiting me. Missed you and your thoughtful comments. Thank you, and by all means pass it on and on and on.

Dale Mazurek profile image

Dale Mazurek 7 years ago from Canada

This is a terrible story that needs to be heard.

I know I couldn't believe my eyes at the numbers reported. 100 000 children in the United States. I would have never imagined the number was that high even world wide.

Your hub was reccommended by another hubber to be part of my blog and now it is.

You can find the link to my blog on my hubpages profile if you want to see the blog.

Great story


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you Dale and I will check out your blog and appreciate the support on this issue.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

What a great tragedy it is for children to be robbed of their innocence and their childhood years like this. And all for monetary gain. And the way news is reflected in all societies seems to be based on who can make a buck out of it, rather than honest and open reporting on what is really going on.

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention so graphically.

Love and peace


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello tonymac04 and thanks for leaving your comments. Yes, it is a tragedy, but even more than losing their innocence and childhood, many (probably most) lose their lives. It does need more attention -- you're right.

itakins profile image

itakins 7 years ago from Irl

I'm just flabbergasted really-I'm going to share this one!

Words fail me.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

You're not alone in your feelings of surprise. Again, most people are totally ignorant of the scope of the problem and the media does nothing to correct the lack of coverage. Why something like this story got no attention to speak of is an outrage -- and why the media pretends this story to be an aberration is also an outrage.

Thanks for our comment.

rescueachild profile image

rescueachild 6 years ago from San Jose, Ca

I am a survivor of domestic child sex trafficking and it happened to me in foster care for four horrible years. I was 3-7 years old!

I am lucky I survived the rest of my life because what came afterwards was also just as tragic.

I am now an author an an avid abolitionist and I want to say thank~you for this story!!!!!

Most people have no idea of the truth and the people that do are the ones committing the crimes and covering them up!!!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you rescueachild and I will be in touch with you through the website you forwarded me. Lynda

the caligreatest 6 years ago

Yall don't know what yall talking bout yes if some one took an 9 10 11 year old yeah the fedz need to go get him but ain't no one being force into a life they didn't choose you people are making it sound real ugly now if your talking bout some one getting kidnapped that's wrong but some one willing which a lot that the police caught was willing they was just some badass disobedient teenagers and I'm talking 16 and up don't blame other people blame the family why did she wanna leave and go with someone and be a prostitute look onto the familys cause some children. Ain't safe at home

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello caligreatest,

I'm quite sure this is a hoax, for surely no one would display such ignorance of both grammar and reality otherwise.

I'll let your comment stand as you truly do make my point for me -- public perceptions are by far the biggest problem to overcome in the fight against such slavery.

And you are the one who doesn't know what you're talking about -- sorry, but your ignorance is absolute and deplorable, but unfortunately, not uncommon.

ken m 6 years ago

A while ago,CSI did a 3 part story about girls being trafficked for prostitution,and slavery,using long-haul truckers for transport. if a girl was too much trouble, they could always sell body parts,then dump parts all over the country,to hinder discovery. But how would they find customers,without risking trying to sell to the FBI ??

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi ken m -- CSI is fantasy -- a TV show. Do not confuse it with reality, which is much harder, uglier and heart wrenching. Lynda

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

I just saw one of your Hubs displayed on a sidebar. I am incel because for 15 months I tracked and hound dogged child porno internet groups on-line. It didn't start out that way, but it was 'stumbled upon'.

The fact that one group out of hundreds, has over 400,000 members, keeps me from being able to imagine having a normal dating/intimate relationship.

I was just a citizen armchair detective, so no counselling or support. I assisted the FBI, they didn't even know how to find this stuff. I can spot a child porno phisher in a short time on the internet, because of the language they use.

2 years ago, a father was busted for giving V.D. to his infant child. They jailed the mother, and fined the father. Since he was the only parent...they simply told him not to do that again. She went back into his custody.

If 400,000 people are subscribing to Child Porn (of toddlers and little babies)those numbers are sure to include Doctors, Lawyers and of course Judges, and "really nice guys".

My soul is forever changed, and I will probably always be solitary because of what our world profits by, and that you never know how LULU our world is, and what people really are.

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

To finally answer you, yes. I subscribe to many Government Docmuments, and follow these kind of cases. The FBI sent an announcement Oct. 26, 2009.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Lilly, You speak as though you think I will not believe your story, or doubt the magnitude of the facts you state -- nothing could be further from the truth. Except for one statement: I don't know which country this father who abused his infant lives in, but I know -- after years of co-operating with law enforcement and child protection agencies, in Canada and the U.S. such an act would NEVER go without punishment and registration on the offenders' registry. His child would have been removed. It simply would not happen, so I suspect you are a victim of internet misinformation in this case, of which there is much -- unfortunately.

I have worked with victims of child sex trafficking, and do not doubt the scope of the problem -- a hideous problem, of which child porn is only one facet.

Lastly, did I miss something? You said 'to finally answer you...' Have you posted a comment somewhere else on my many articles on this subject? About those Govt. documents -- you must always keep in mind the known and provable figures represent only the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you for commenting here, and keep up the good work. Lynda

Julia 6 years ago

Immartin, thank you for your posting. I am sick after reading this. I had no idea the magnitude of the problem or that it was being glossed over so well. The part that makes me the sickest is that when I am done reading your comments/articles and I navigate away from this page, I won't know what to do. I have no way to help any of these little vulnerable children. I will go home tonight and sit on my couch and watch my own daughter play and wonder what little girls are being victimized and where and how are they going to be found and rescued...and I still won't know what to do, and my heart will still be sick. What does someone do who wants to volunteer or get involved in this problem??? Thanks!

Mogen David 6 years ago

I haven't seen the names of the 60 so-called alleged "pimps" mentioned anywhere. I doubt that they are underage and entitled to protection, so let's see who they are!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Julia -- there may be shelters for victims in your community. Contact your local Sheriff's Office to find out. They can always use help. Or just help spread the word. That is helpful too, seeing as those agencies that should are not.

To Mogen David: Let's see some news coverage period. The latest crackdown got more coverage, but still not enough and full of misinformation. If you want more info on this problem see my response to the latest crackdown here on hubpages. The Rape Trade -- complete with video. Here's the link:http://hubpages.com/politics/The-Rape-Trade-child-...

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JacksBlogs 5 years ago

I refuse to believe that America is so sick, so depraved as you want us to believe. These are matters for normal police work and social worker interaction. Enough! I stand up to you on this. We don't need to be scared any more about our children walking down our street or pimps sneaking in through our computers. Enough!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Fine with me. Hide your head in the sand and tell yourself it just ain't so. Wishing won't make it true, but clearly, you just don't want to know.

ChristinCordle12 profile image

ChristinCordle12 5 years ago

Great hub!

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

Recently a highly publicized rescue of 21 Hill Tribe children in Northern Thailand has been put in question. The government of Thailand is investigating the charity group, "The Grey Man", claiming they raised money through advertisements on their website, saying they had saved 21 children from the clutches of sex traffickers. The Grey Man's founder John Curtis now admits that the alleged rescue never took place, and now the question is .. will he face criminal charges?

It is unfortunate that in some cases aid groups stretch the truth, and use sensationalist tactics to justify their own existence. This is the reality in the world we live in ..

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Yes, that some will take advantage of a truly horrific fate for many children to get media coverage is indeed a truly sad situation. But it does not, for one minute, change that sordid fact of child trafficking. My sister was teaching in Thailand and was directly involved in the rescue of a group of a dozen children from trafficking. But this is not my point here; which is, what is happening right here in the good old land of the brave and free where at any time close to 250,000 children are for sale on our streets.

Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated. Lynda

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

I have been living in Thailand since 2000, I have worked with children as an ESL teacher, and I have a 9 yr old son. The reality I see first hand, is much different than the portrayal in the western media. Thai people are no different than Americans when it comes to how they feel about crimes against children, and only a few sick people would participate in any such thing. I find that sensationalist reports tend to make Thailand look much worse than it actually is, and this is nothing short of ignorance and racism. The reality is that there is NO child prostitution out in the open, because it simply isn't tolerated. Does it go on behind the scenes, probably about as often as it does in every other country.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Exactly my point. Thailand's problem is small compared to that of the United States, for example and yet we overlook what is going on in our own backyards and point fingers elsewhere.

Anita Fleming 5 years ago

I was a Dive Instructor on Koh Dao in the Gulf of Thailand. I have been there for the last 6 months. I have seen a lot of child sex tourism in my short stay here. I would like to know how to go about reporting this crime. I personally know of one American man who has a young daughter to a Thai woman. When me and my friends worked out the math on the age of the baby the mother was 15 years old. What do I do to stop these perverts? I also know of a man who owns a bar in Koh Samui and employs a 16 year old there. In most western countries isn't it a crime in both countries? I would like to see some justice. Concerned in Bangkok

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Anita, Can't help you, I'm afraid. I'm more involved in NOrth America than Asia. Lynda

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

@Anita Fleming,

You say you have seen a lot of child sex tourism in Koh Tao (you spelled it wrong). As an example you mention a man and a woman who have a baby, and some math calculations? If your spelling and grammar is any indication, I wouldn't trust your math. It sounds to me like you are just another hypocrite that comes to visit a foreign country so you can start comparing it to your own country, and point your finger every chance you get. Now you want to know where you can report what you have seen? Give your head a shake, you haven't seen anything.

Anita Fleming 5 years ago

I am sorry my grammar is poor. My objective in replying to this thread was to point out some observations and hopefully protect some children from abusers. I don't know why you are being so aggressive towards me. I was hoping that I could find out a place to report victims in Thailand. The police do not want to help.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Okay, ladies. This article is about what is going on in the United States, not the state of affairs in Thailand. While I appreciate both of you taking the time to read my article and to comment, let it go now.

For the record, I once attended an international conference of child-protection workers from around the Pacific ring that included US, Canada, and several Asian countries of which Thailand was one. I can assure you the child sex trade is alive and operating in Thailand -- as it is in Canada, the US and many, many, far too many places. This I have first-hand from those attempting to fight this abomination, dedicated professionals whose credentials are impeccable.

Just because you haven't seen it does not mean it does not exist. Most Americans have never seen the child sex trade in operation, either, yet the FBI and other law enforcement agencies know it does, to the tune of a quarter of a million children. So, let's just say no country is more clean or dirty than any other. This trade does not recognize boundaries.

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

I just don't think it is very productive to travel to Thailand or anywhere else, and try to find child sex trafficking everywhere you look. When you see a married couple with a small child, I think if they appear to be happy, only a sick person would try to twist that into something more sinister.

Of course there are children being victimized in Thailand and every other country around the world, but you are not doing them any favors by pointing fingers everywhere you look, without exercising a little common sense.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

I think you are so wrapped up in your defense of Thailand (which was never attacked by me in this article, nor any other) that you are missing my point entirely. Perhaps you are right and we should all turn a blind eye to the problem. However, in the years I was involved as an outreach worker in child protection, to do so was my job.

What does seeing a couple with a child have to do with anything? Where have I pointed fingers everywhere I look without exercising common sense? What is your point? Really, by what intelligence have you decided to level such a charge?

This is an article written by someone with many years of experience in child protection, who has worked with those who have been so victimized. Someone who has met, shared notes, attended conferences with similar workers from many countries.

I have chosen to write about it and raise social knowledge of the plight of children -- in this case, in the USA -- and I exercise considerable common sense while doing so.

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia


My comments were not at all directed towards you, or your article, they were in response to the comments made by Anita. I can say that I agree with almost everything you have said, and don't find any of your comments to lack common sense.

I assure you that I do not think anyone should turn a blind eye to the problem, I simply think they need to make sure they focus on the REAL problem, as apposed to manufacturing problems in order to give themselves an opportunity to condemn things that all reasonable people are apposed to.

I make no efforts to defend Thailand for it's shortcomings, in fact I have written dozens of articles on human rights issues, corruption and murder cover-ups, and senseless violence that occurs in Thailand, unfortunately, this isn't the topic that people want to hear about.

Most people are quick to point a finger at Thailand when it comes to prostitution, but nobody talks about their much bigger problems, such as government troops slaying civilian protesters in the streets of Bangkok. Burmese immigrants forced into slave labor and being deprived of basic human rights.

So when I hear somebody complaining about a man with a young wife with whom he has a child, I find it absolutely absurd. And that is what I was referring to, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Apology accepted and reciprocated.

As I said earlier, my sister taught in Thailand for several years, but not in Bangkok. I forget the name of the closest town. Nearby was a Christian mission and the nuns there were devoted to liberating young children who were taken/purchased for trade in the tourist cities. She wrote to me of it a number of times. But that is an aside to this article. It is true Americans think of Thailand first when it comes to sex-tourism, and also true they love to ignore the even bigger problem here at home. Thanks for all your interest. Lynda

Jim 4 years ago

You are a better man than I. I would want to kill each and everyone of those bastards!!!! They destroyed each and everyone of those children's lives!! They should get life. In general population. With a tattoo on there forehead! Child raper! Let nature take it's course!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Jim. First of all, I'm a woman and yes, I did want to massacre them all -- but that is the stuff of fantasy. Too many of us refuse to see what is going on around us. And it does. Every day. Right under our noses. Thank you for your comment.

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