Protesting Backpage’s Facilitation of Sex Trafficking June 20, 2012

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) in partnership with Prostitution Research & Education (PRE) held a second protest in front of the NYC office of Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC (VVM), owner of Backpage on June 20, 2012.  This protest, co-sponsored by more than 100, and counting, leading human rights organizations and prominent individuals, including InterVarsity’s New York City Urban Project, The Women’s Media Center, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, Alicia Keys, Ambassador Mark Lagon, Aaron Cohen, Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking, Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, Geebo.com, and A Call to Men, will bring attention to Backpage’s ongoing facilitation of and profiting from sex trafficking.    “VVM mainstreams online pimping by providing a vehicle for sex traffickers to reach buyers of human beings for prostituted sex,” says Norma Ramos, Executive Director of CATW.  Recently, corporations including T-Mobile, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Macy’s have pulled their advertisements from VVM in protest.   Backpage generates an estimated $2 million per month largely by functioning as a virtual red light district in the U.S. and in 14 other countries.    The protestors held VVM accountable for its role in facilitating the rank exploitation of others and called upon VVM to engage in corporate responsibility by ceasing to host prostitution ads.  Good Shepherd Sisters were among the protestors and speakers. 

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