Seattle Mayor speaks out on child prostitution in adult classifiedsPosted: Updated:
SEATTLE -- Hollywood celebrity Ashton Kutcher is a big fan of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
At around noon on Friday, Kutcher, an activist fighting to end human trafficking, tweeted:
"I think every mayor should take human trafficking as serious as @mayormcginn in seattle http://t.co/BaxIDoz #dna"
Kutcher's tweet was in reference to McGinn's request that Village Voice Media stop carrying adult classified ads in their publications that include some forms of child prostitution.
Village Voice Media operates Backpage.com, an online classifies website, as well as the Phoenix News Times, Seattle Weekly, and several other similar weeklies throughout the country.
Friday, McGinn wrote a letter to the CEO of the Village Voice, stating the seriousness of sex trafficking in Seattle and the shocking number of minors who get swept up and are never heard from again.
McGinn said just this year, the Seattle Police Department found four cases of underage sex trafficking on Backpage.
Site staffers in Seattle say they make sure inappropriate and illegal content either does not get posted or is reported to the proper authorities.
“I understand that you have existing policies aimed at preventing the trafficking of minors,” McGinn wrote. “But the problems remains. It’s time to reexamine your policies. We must do better.”
He concluded by inviting the Backpage.com staff with sit down with him and Seattle’s chief of police.
Kutcher and wife, actress Demi Moore, have launched a campaign to raise awareness about child sex slavery in the U.S. The Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) campaign is called "Real Men Don't Buy Girls."
The Village Voice has taken issue with the figures DNA cites, claiming that between 100,000 and 300,000 children forced into the sex trade each year.
"The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman," wrote Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin and Kristen Hinman in a piece titled "Real Men Get Their Facts Straight."