New York, NY — (ReleaseWire) — 01/03/2022 — ECPAT-USA is grateful that accountability prevailed over power and privilege in the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell this week in New York, and we are incredibly thankful to the survivors who bravely testified about the abuse they experienced at the hands of Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, and their network of co-conspirators. However, this is only a small step toward justice for the dozens of young girls who were lured into Epstein’s web of crimes against children.
“While we commend the Department of Justice for investigating Ghislaine Maxwell, this case is not just about Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, but the powerful and influential men who purchased these young girls for their own gratification and those around them who enabled these despicable acts,” says Lori L. Cohen, CEO of ECPAT-USA. “Our elected government leaders must send a message that no matter how rich or powerful an individual is, purchasing a child for sex is not acceptable.”
In 2020, federal courts convicted the lowest number of defendants in human trafficking cases since 2012, research has shown. Last year, 163 defendants were convicted of these crimes; a 51% decline in convicted defendants from 2019.
We hope that this case sends a message to all those who seek to harm our children that they will be held accountable. Our criminal justice system must make investigating and prosecuting these crimes a priority and ensure that kids everywhere are protected from sexual predators.
ECPAT-USA is the nation’s leading anti-child trafficking organization seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in 104 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children around the world. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org.
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