The Common Good

Child Exploitation in a High-Tech World

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

In the Dominican Republic, an estimated 10 percent of children are sexually exploited. According to Project Rescue, the average age around the world for a child sex slave is 13, and the average cost for a child sex slave is $150.

But child sexual exploitation is not only an overseas issue. According to U.S. law enforcement, there are at least 20,000 children manipulated and forced to engage in prostitution on a daily basis -- the actual number is unknown. What is known is that child sexual violence and exploitation has been growing dramatically around the world for the past couple of decades.

Advances in technology and communication have served to exacerbate the problem. But contrary to popular opinion, child pornography is not confined to seedy Web sites. Mainstream Web sites, such as Craig's List, allow for "barely legal" adult offers.

In the U.S., the high demand and easy money is a lure for vulnerable children. In 2005, The New York Times told Justin Berry's story. At 13 years old, Justin entered a life he eventually realized he would not be able to leave without significant intervention. Thankfully, he did obtain the help he needed. But his story exemplifies the evolution and ease of child exploitation in a high-tech world. The article stated,

A six-month investigation into this corner of the Internet found that such sites had emerged largely without attracting the attention of law enforcement or youth protection organizations

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)