FOSTA poised to do more harm than good

FOSTA poised to do more harm than good

FOSTA will not end sex trafficking online

The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) was signed into law in April 11, 2018, but it won’t end child sex trafficking online.

The justification for this legislation rests on the misleading idea that individual websites facilitate child sex trafficking, when in reality the Internet as whole has brought this practice out of the shadows and proliferated it.

FOSTA has been used to vilify certain websites that have been historically cooperative with law enforcement. Although these websites are blamed for “facilitating” sex trafficking, on the contrary, qualitative and quantitative research suggests they are a catalyst for victim rescues and offender arrests. As a result, FOSTA is poised to inhibit law enforcement ability to combat sex trafficking online, by displacing and dispersing commercial sex ads from cooperative websites based in the United States, to uncooperative websites based overseas.

Legislators committed to evidence-based anti-trafficking reform should instead consider legislation that facilitates cooperation and information exchange between private companies and law enforcement. Empirical evidence and criminological theory suggests that partnerships would be more valuable in the war against sex trafficking. It is time to stop talking platitudes and supporting hollow policies, and start making a measurable impact against this scourge.

Freedom Light provides the training and technical assistance needed to the combat sex trafficking scourge in a meaningful way.

For more information about our training and technical assistance, contact us.

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