WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and 19 anti-trafficking organizations filed an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, June 24, in support of a sex trafficking survivor who sued Craigslist.
A judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, recently granted Craigslist’s motion to dismiss holding that the classified ads website had CDA Section 230 immunity for the sex-trafficking survivor’s claims, even after Congress clarified that websites are not immune from civil sex-trafficking claims. The trafficking survivor, J.B., is appealing this decision, arguing that in 2018 Congress amended Section 230, with FOSTA-SESTA, specifically, so survivors like herself could hold accountable websites like Craigslist that profited from her abuse. NCOSE, along with World Without Exploitation, Shared Hope International, CHILD USA, the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance (NTSA), and other anti-trafficking groups filed an amicus brief in support of J.B.
“Congress passed FOSTA to ‘open the courthouse doors to victims of sex trafficking,’” said Dani Pinter, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “The holding by the District Court in California sets sex-trafficking survivors back and completely undermines what Congress set out to do with FOSTA-SESTA – namely, allow survivors to hold websites accountable for profiting from their abuse. Craigslist specifically, was one of the websites, along with Backpage, that moved Congress to act because for too long they have been profiting from the sex trafficking of children like J.B. on their websites with impunity.”
“NCOSE, along with our allies World Without Exploitation, Shared Hope International, CHILD USA, NTSA and many other outstanding organizations, urge the Ninth Circuit to reverse the District Court and restore the pathway to justice and accountability that Congress created with FOSTA-SESTA. J.B. and courageous survivors like her deserve to have their day in court.”
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.