(LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) deleted information related to child sex trafficking from its website’s areas of concern, a new report revealed.
In May, the federal agency heavily edited its webpage describing child sex trafficking and outlining how the government addresses the issue. The DOJ deleted three sections entirely: “International Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” and “Child Victims of Prostitution.”
The news was initially revealed in an investigative report by journalist Natalie Winters of Steve Bannon’s War Room.
The DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) includes child sex trafficking as a “subject area” of focus and concern. Since May 28, 2020, the CEOS section of the DOJ website featured a general description of child sex trafficking and certain challenges faced by law enforcement in identifying and rescuing victims. Within the child sex trafficking category, there also used to be three sections that explained in greater detail certain types of trafficking, including exploitation that occurs internationally and domestically and cases of child prostitution.
However, on May 12, 2023, the federal agency scrubbed the three detailed sections and a quote from James Cole, the Democratic U.S. Deputy Attorney General from 2010-2015, which warned that vulnerable children “can be recruited into a violent life of forced prostitution.” The remaining paragraphs include a broader overview of child sex trafficking and a general description of the CEOS’s role in fighting it.
The Biden administration’s update runs in direct contrast to former president Donald Trump, who issued an executive order in 2020 declaring it a mission of the federal government’s executive branch “to prioritize its resources to vigorously prosecute offenders, to assist victims, and to provide prevention education to combat human trafficking and online sexual exploitation of children.”
Deleted details of child sex trafficking
The “International Sex Trafficking of Minors” section that was removed from the site describes how “traffickers recruit and transfer children across international borders in order to sexually exploit them in another country.”
The agency noted that this method of trafficking occurs in the United States and often seeks out victims in “less-developed areas,” including South and Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Common “false pretenses” used to convince children to trust traffickers seeking to bring victims to the U.S. include being “told that a better life or job opportunity awaits them.”
The second deleted section related to the exploitation of children within America’s borders. One paragraph explained that “under federal law, a child does not need to cross international or even state borders to be considered a victim of commercial sexual exploitation.” Within the U.S., minors are often abused “through street prostitution, and in adult night clubs, illegal brothels, sex parties, motel rooms [and] hotel rooms,” with many victims suffering from other abuse and “family abandonment issues.”
Specifically with domestic trafficking, the section continued, “a pimp will lure a child with food, clothes, attention, friendship, love and a seemingly safe place to say.” Moving victims away from friends or family and changing locations leads the exploited children to “become so hardened by the environment in which they must learn to survive that they are incapable of leaving the situation on their own.”
The final section omitted from the website emphasizes the horror of child prostitution, pointing out that “it is not uncommon for traffickers to beat, rape, or torture their victims” and that “some traffickers also use drugs and alcohol to control them.” A “worldwide marketing channel” was also highlighted as a cause for concern as technology helps traffickers “to reach a larger clientele base than in the past.”
Each of the removed sections emphasized the terrifying reality of child sex trafficking in greater detail than the generalized description of abuse that remains on the page.
Conservatives question ulterior motives
The apparent disregard of child sex trafficking came amid great anticipation of the hugely popular Sound of Freedom film, based on the life and work of Tim Ballard in dismantling international sex trafficking rings and saving thousands of exploited children.
Ballard left his job with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after more than a decade to dedicate his efforts entirely to saving victims of child sex trafficking. He is the founder of Operation Underground Railroad and CEO of the Nazarene Fund.
The film, starring Jim Caviezel and produced by Eduardo Verástegui, debuted in theaters across the U.S. and Canada on July 4, less than two months after the DOJ significantly edited its website on child sex trafficking. While gaining tremendous support from conservatives, mainstream media has attempted to thwart the film’s success and divert the public from the truth it portrays by framing it as part of the QAnon movement and “right-wing conspiracy theories.”
When the DOJ’s removal of information pertaining to this issue was exposed, conservatives raised questions about the suspicious timing of the agency’s actions and potential links between the hidden information and the media’s efforts to bury the important message of Sound of Freedom.
Pro-life filmmaker and founder of the Vulnerable People Project Jason Jones wondered on Twitter, “Why did Biden’s DOJ just remove sex trafficking as an area of concern when 350,000 children are reported missing every year in the United States alone?”
Why did Biden’s DOJ just remove sex trafficking as an area of concern when 350,000 children are reported missing every year in the United States alone? pic.twitter.com/0DyYUsuTAZ
— Jason Jones (@jonesville) July 12, 2023
Jones has also criticized left-wing media outlets for their persistent efforts to “discredit” Sound of Freedom and its important message.
“DOJ’s blatant move to distance Joe Biden’s harmful policies from the global crime of sex trafficking should be no surprise to any of us who have seen the blatant sexualization and abuse of children this Administration is comfortable with promoting.”
— Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (@RepLuna) July 11, 2023
“This also prefaced the Sound of Freedom release,” Luna noted, describing the movie as one that “has underscored the horrific violation of human dignity by the international sex trade and the perpetrators of it.”
“The Public Safety Committee in California’s state Assembly just blocked SB 14, which would have made human trafficking of a minor a serious felony in California,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk said on Twitter. “The DOJ’s ‘Child Sex Trafficking’ webpage just removed 3 sections from its areas of concern.”
“Meanwhile, the legacy news media is working overtime to discredit and smear the Sound of Freedom as ‘Q-anon adjacent’ and a ‘Superhero movie for Dads with Brainworms,’” he continued. “Are you paying attention yet?”