From Change.org, written by Amanda Kloer
Yet another nonprofit organization has rejected an offer of cash from Craigslist, citing concerns about the sexual exploitation of minors on the site. In May, Minnesota-based Advocates for Human Rights returned a check for $25,000, which they said they couldn't in good conscience keep. Now, the Center for Health and Gender Equity(CHANGE) has done the same. Is Craigslist becoming such an online pariah that they can't even give away money to nonprofits during a recession?
According to CHANGE President Serra Sipple, the organization doesn't believe that Craigslist actively supports human trafficking or child sexual exploitation, nor do they fault anyone who accepts donations from their foundation. But they (like this blogger) think that the steps Craigslist has taken to prevent abuse and protect children just aren't enough. After all, the sale of young girls who have been forced into prostitution is a serious human rights violation, and evidence continues to indicate Craigslist as the primary place children are pimped in the U.S. Rachel Lloyd, a Change.org Changemaker, wrote an open letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, telling him the story of an 11-year-old she knew who had been pimped on his site. And those stories are far from rare.
CHANGE (which, by the way, is no relation to Change.org) also provided Craigslist with a list of their "suggestions" for improvement of their adult services section, which is quite frankly the best and most comprehensive one I've seen throughout all the discussions on how, when, and why Craigslist needs to reform. And I'm not afraid to admit, it's a lot better than the one I came up with over a year ago, asking Craigslist to take steps to better protect women and children forced into commercial sex. Bravo, CHANGE.
If, like CHANGE, you think Craiglist needs to get their act together and stop the pimping of children on their website, you can join the nearly 7000 other activists who have signed the petition to ask them to make real changes in their adult services section, create real transparency on how they screen ads, and work more closely with law enforcement. No nonprofit should have to send back a check because the issuer is facilitating the sex trafficking of women and children. But unless Craigslist shapes up and begins taking the advice of groups like CHANGE, they might be getting a lot more returned checks.