Groups Demand Craigslist Shut Down Global Adult Sections

Bob Johnson
WASHINGTON — The recent shut down of Craigslist's Adult Services section has prompted four human rights groups to demand that the company also close the adult services section on all of its international sites.

According to a report on InformationWeek, the four groups – The Polaris Project, Courtney’s House, the FAIR Fund and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights – that are all concerned with child trafficking – said the company needs to go further and close down the adult or erotic pages still available on the site in other countries.

The groups released a statement saying,”The call comes as the site continues to keep quiet about its motivations for removing the prostitution-section in the U.S.

“While this is a good first step in the U.S., there are still more than 250 other Craigslist ‘erotic’ pages around the world where children and young women are still being sold for sex through Craigslist. [It] is a global company, and it has a global responsibility. It should immediately shut down the ‘erotic’ services sections across the globe.”

The groups also questioned the reasons behind Craigslist’s action suggesting that the company may be deflecting heat before a Congressional testimony appearance that’s scheduled on Sept. 15 on the sex trafficking issue.

"If Craigslist is seriously committed to ending the site's use as a platform for sex trafficking and the sexual enslavement of children and young women, it will immediately close the remaining sections around the world," the statement said.

Criticism about the company’s move centers on why it made the changes in the U.S. citing that replacing the relevant links with a “censored” banner certainly gives the impression of a company acting under protest, according to other reports.

“It also appears that predictions that the section closure would simply spread the ads into other sections (thus being more time-consuming for the authorities to monitor) of Craigslist appears correct. For example, the ‘therapeutic services’ section of the New York Craigslist now has a jumbled-up mixture of those promoting their massage training and qualifications and those for whom a picture in a bikini appears to be their main selling-point.”