Distinguished columnist Colby King writes that action needs to be taken now on the epidemic of child prostitution and trafficking in the District of Columbia:
“Human trafficking is a cruel and inhumane practice found in countries around the world. So it should come as no surprise that President Obama proclaimed this month National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“The exploitation and coercion of girls and young women into prostitution, however, is not limited to places overseas.
“Right here in the nation’s capital, our most vulnerable residents — children — are subjected to sex slavery. Their stories don’t make the evening news or even warrant blurbs in your morning paper. But human trafficking is, and has been, a shadowy and seamy part of D.C. life….
“U.S. attorney spokesman Bill Miller told me this week, “Since 2009, about 70 defendants have been prosecuted in [federal and D.C. courts] on charges related to human trafficking . . . including abducting or enticing a child into prostitution.”
“The overwhelming majority of those cases” he added, “resulted in convictions.”
“The U.S. attorney’s office has a large task force and an active outreach program on human trafficking, and is urgently scheduling training sessions with D.C. police and schools. Seven churches are joining the Faith Coalition Against Sex Trafficking in our Nation’s Capital to sponsor a meeting Jan. 30.
“They can’t do it alone.
“Let’s help the president and the prosecutors: Human trafficking is in our region, in the nation’s capital, in your ward, on your block.
“Open your eyes. Don’t look abroad. Look down the street.”
Read more: Colby King on Child Trafficking in DC
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