The Department of Justice (DOJ) has discreetly removed several sections from its website that were dedicated to the issue of child sex trafficking, both within the United States and internationally. These sections, which provided information about the recruitment and exploitation of American minors into the commercial sex industry, have been completely erased.
Previously, the DOJ’s website contained detailed sections on “International Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” and “Child Victims of Prostitution.” These sections, which were added during President Donald Trump’s administration in May 2020, provided valuable information to the public about the methods used by human traffickers and pimps to target vulnerable children and manipulate them into prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation.
— Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (@RepLuna) July 11, 2023
The updated website, however, no longer contains these sections. Furthermore, a paragraph under the “Child Sex Trafficking” section, which discussed the tactics used by traffickers to control their victims, has also been removed. The DOJ updated the website in mid-May, approximately three years after the Trump administration added the additional information.
During his presidency, Donald Trump prioritized the fight against human trafficking and frequently addressed the issue in public. In January 2020, he signed an executive order aimed at eliminating human trafficking and online child exploitation in the United States.
The reason for the revision of the DOJ’s website remains unclear. However, Roger Severino, the Vice President of Domestic Policy at the Heritage Foundation, suggested that this move is typical of Democratic administrations, which he claims often downplay the issue of child sexual exploitation.
The process of changing information on the DOJ’s website is a rigorous one, requiring several layers of review. Therefore, the decision to remove these sections was not taken lightly.
The removal of these sections coincides with a report from the New York Times suggesting that the Department of Health and Human Services has lost contact with thousands of unaccompanied alien children who may have become victims of child smuggling and child labor operations.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) has linked the DOJ’s decision to this report, suggesting that the Biden Administration’s open-border policies may be contributing to the problem of child sex trafficking. She also noted that the timing of the DOJ’s decision coincides with the release of the film “Sound of Freedom,” which highlights the issue of child trafficking.
Despite the controversy surrounding the film, “Sound of Freedom” has been successful at the box office, earning more than $45 million since its release on July 4. The film tells the story of Homeland Security agent Tim “Timoteo” Ballard’s efforts to rescue a trafficked child in Colombia.
The DOJ has not yet responded to requests for comment on the changes to its website.