The Department of Justice is facing scrutiny for having deleted parts of a website page dedicated to child sex trafficking.
The DOJ’s page on “Child Sex Trafficking” used to contain subsections about “International Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” and “Child Victims of Prostitution.”
But as of July 19th, these subsections were nowhere to be found.
The DOJ’s “Child Sex Trafficking” webpage removed 3 sections – “International Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” and “Child Victims of Prostitution” – from its areas of concern. pic.twitter.com/plxtoI08jb
— Natalie Winters (@nataliegwinters) July 10, 2023
According to the New York Post, the subsections were likely removed “sometime between April 21 and May 28.”
“The DOJ says the adjustments were driven by efforts to keep its website updated in accordance with its 2023 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction,” according to the Post.
However, many were left unconvinced by the reason.
Victor Marx, a survivor of child sexual abuse and head of All Things Possible Ministries, told the Post that while he supports the DOJ’s new “National Strategy,” its decision to remove the old content is troubling.
“It’s heartening to see a commitment to addressing this grave issue, both domestically and internationally. However, the recent changes to the Department’s website, particularly the removal of specific sections related to child sex trafficking, have raised valid concerns,” he said.
“The message we’re sending to our children and the criminals, and the women at large that are concerned is the administration doesn’t care. I think they’re trying to lower their culpability and responsibility. They’re having to lower and lessen their footprint and their position on this because believe me, it’s horrible and stories are going to start to come out,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jaco Booyens, whose sister was reportedly trafficked for seven years in South Africa, and who now reportedly leads an organization to fight trafficking in the U.S. and along the border, told the Post the removals weren’t surprising.
“I was not shocked at all. The reason it happened, the way it happened has a lot to do with the border. It has a lot to do with the timing that there’s a general awareness on human trafficking,” he said.
He added that the removals prove that the DOJ is effectively deprioritizing the issue.
“We know the effect of trafficking across the border of women and children. And so to deprioritize it … it’s absolutely moving in the wrong direction. It’s nefarious. This is not a political issue. It should never be a political issue. This is an issue of human dignity and human life. And it’s a humanitarian issue,” he said.
He’s not the only one who believes the removals are linked to the ongoing border crisis:
85,000 children are missing from the southern border. Joe Biden and his DOJ sound like human traffickers.
— Tired of being politically correct (@USBornNRaised) July 18, 2023
To be more specific they also removed the part that said that open boarders makes it very easy for child traffickers
— Alexis Maya Lalancette (@AMLalancette) July 13, 2023
Why did the DOJ remove warning info about child sex trafficking that was added by Trump admin? Anything to do with 80,000 plus kids who crossed border into US and are now unaccounted for? https://t.co/eCnYcJin0B
— mbab (@MaryBarbara24) July 19, 2023
Biden & DOJ informed us this week that they consider child trafficking ” not a concern to us at this time”. 85,000 children are missing from the border but they politicize Abbott’s action at the border. Obviously Biden and his corrupt administration do NOT care about children!
— Cynthia D (@ctdsara) July 18, 2023
Notice the reference to missing children.
“Reports show the government lost track of 85,000 migrant children, and some of those children may have been forced into labor in the U.S.,” NPR reported back in April.
Incidentally, the Post notes that two “notable portions of the website that got scrubbed referenced cross-border transportation of children and child exploitation that stems from prostitution.”
“One form of sex trafficking involves the cross border transportation of children. In these situations, traffickers recruit and transfer children across international borders in order to sexually exploit them in another country,” the original content read.
“Pimps and traffickers sexually exploit children through street prostitution, and in adult night clubs, illegal brothels, sex parties, motel rooms, hotel rooms, and other locations throughout the United States,” it continued.
Among congressional Republicans, at least one has taken note of the DOJ’s removal of the three subsections: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna.
“DOJ’s blatant move to distance Joe Biden’s harmful policies from the global crime of sex trafficking should be no surprise to any of us who have seen the blatant sexualization and abuse of children this Administration is comfortable with promoting,” she said in a press release last week.
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