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STATEMENT FROM COOK COUNTY SHERIFF THOMAS J. DART REGARDING PROSECUTION OF HUMAN TRAFFICKERS

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Thursday, July 25, 2013As the tactics of sex traffickers to evade the law evolve with modern technology, so too must the tactics of those charged with protecting trafficking victims and bringing their perpetrators to justice. As such, I strongly urge Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA") and empower local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute companies who promote – either implicitly or explicitly – the trafficking of women and children in the United States.

The promotion of prostitution through classified advertising websites is nothing new. In 2009, I directed my office to sue Craigslist for its role in facilitating sex trafficking. Since then, the situation has only deteriorated, as traffickers utilize new online forums and technologies to evade law enforcement and maintain control over their victims. These internet classified advertising companies plead ignorance, but they are a key conduit in this epidemic and need to be held accountable.

The type of legislation advocated for by the National Association of Attorneys General and International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children would give state and local agencies throughout the country a fighting chance in the long-term fight against sex trafficking. Congress would be wise to heed their counsel.
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