NY Times Kristof - We need to go after Village Voice's Backpage.com

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By: Nik Medrano, The Dartmouth
Nick Kristof

Full article here: http://thedartmouth.com/2012/07/06/news/kristof


Sex trafficking and prostitution, however, are not issues confined to countries such as Cambodia, Kristof said. Traffickers are also a presence in the United States, from New York City to more rural areas.

“We need to go after pimps and johns much more and less after girls,” Kristof said. “We need to go after forums where girls are trafficked, like backpage.com. What we’ve lacked is political will.”

Backpage, a free advertising website similar to Craigslist, is run by the New York newspaper Village Voice. Backpage has been widely criticized for its “adult” section, which has generated $2.6 million in revenue from ads selling sex, according to the consulting firm AIM Group.

Kristof encouraged students to devote part of their lives to “an activity larger than yourselves.” Engagement in social justice issues can help people, especially Americans, gain a sense of perspective on world issues, he said.

“The fact that we’re all here today means we’ve truly won the lottery of life,” Kristof said. “When you do win, you have some obligation to respond to some degree. I’d like to encourage you to engage in that effort and gain a measure of satisfaction and fulfillment and, a little bit, help change the world.”

Kristof’s lecture was sponsored by the Office of the President. The next lecture in the series will be given by William Fallon, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, on July 19.

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