Want to buy a child?
Want to sell one?
Mobile phones and devices are regularly used to traffic children for sex in the US, according to The Rise of Mobile and the Diffusion of Technology-Facilitated Trafficking.
The report was produced by the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
“Increasingly, the business of human trafficking is taking place online and over mobile phones,” says CCLP research director Dr. Mark Latonero. “Mobile devices allow traffickers to expand their criminal networks in new ways."
Adds Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “Human trafficking has moved from the streets to online. It is easier, less risky and more profitable."
Some good news
But as traffickers increase their use of technology, that same technology "can be used to target traffickers, reach vulnerable communities, and raise public awareness," says Latonero.
I've seen some of this technology in meetings with law enforcement, and it's astounding.
And look what creative app designers came up with in Colombia: If someone sees a child working illegally, they can take a picture with their phone and log the location, which the app sends to the country's child welfare agency.Trafficking and social media
Cell phones are not the only digital channels that make exploiting children just a few clicks away. Others include social networking sites like Facebook, as CNN reported this week on Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex workers.
Of course, if you read this blog regularly, you already knew that 5 months ago :-) when you read my report, Parents, please wake up.