SEATTLE — The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution Saturday calling for Village Voice Media to require age verification for advertisements for escorts on its website BackPage.com. The resolution was sponsored by Seattle mayor Mike McGinn.
“I thank my fellow mayors across the country for formally joining the national effort asking Village Voice Media to protect children, not profits,” McGin said in a statement. “Washington State is a leader in this effort, including State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welle schampioning state legislation passed this year that makes advertising the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor a felony offense.”
Seattle officials estimate that hundreds of children are being exploited sexually every year in the area, often through the website.
“They are putting profits ahead of these young women,” McGinn said. “Young women are forced into a life of prostitution exploited by men, advertised as for sale.”
McGinn boarded a flight back to Seattle on Saturday, concluding an East Coast trip that included stops in New York to meet with the NBA, Washington D.C. to meet with the Department of Justice, and Orlando for the Conference of Mayors.