It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day and a new local study released by End Slavery Tennessee provides specific information on the sex trafficking in Middle Tennessee.
The advocacy group collected data from Backpage.com “adult escort” ads in Nashville. The auditors ranged from a student at Belmont University to a representative from the Department of Homeland Security.
Among their findings:
In 2010, the Tennessee attorney general joined a group of 16 other state attorneys general in asking Backpage to remove the adult escort portion of their website. According to the attorneys general, the web site was a hotbed for prostitution, sex trafficking, and other sex crimes.
They made a similar request of Craigslist, which eventually ceded to the group. Backpage still lists their escort services.
The report recommends closing the Backpage escort services and calls on lawmakers to pass tougher penalties for those convicted of trafficking and promoting prostitution.