it's hard to believe it's happening here in america, but 69 children were forced into prostitution and now saved during operation
enforcement agencies have arrested more than 800 suspects in these
cases, including 99 pimps. the major bust took cooperation of hundreds of agencies across 40 cities.
has a closer look at this devastating reality. it's absolutely unbelievable.
you really said it best there,
. we're talking about
and talking about kids in the
. 69 were saved, which brings the number to 1,200 saved since
. but, unfortunately, this is a small dent. experts estimating some 230,000 u.s. kids are at risk of being exploited as
in this country. if you took every kid in 400 public
, that's how many kids we're talking about. okay, this is also
. $32 billion worldwide for traffickers selling and trading humans into sex or labor slavery. that's the size of the market. on a microlevel to give you an idea. a pimp in d.c. with three girls could make over $500,000 a year in cash. the challenge for
is that some kids are moved every few weeks making it difficult for parents to try to track down their daughters or sons. when
shows up the
and the girls that are at the locations, not the
, the ones that do the trade and run the infrastructure. now, girls do come forward on their own, but they don't always get the support they need because they're seen as just as a prostitute. the girls psychologically start to see their capture who laz has repeatedly raped them. local ngos in recent years have raised millions to stop this market by raising demands. what experts tell me now is that as more safe houses and shelters are needed to get these kid
away and into nurturing environments. hopefully.
thank you very much, richard. appreciate it.
anderson for the national center of missing and exploited children and
, let me start with with you. how do they get their hands on these little kids?
at the national center we have 80% of our
cases are run aways, what we call endangered run aways. these are the kids at greatest risk. they're out on the street and they don't have resources and they don't have anyone to turn to in terms of guardians for food, shelter, anything. and these pimps, these offenders will prey on these children's needs for love and support. and bring them in and start to care and nurture for them, nurture them or make them feel that that's what they're doing.
in this case some of these kids were 13 and younger. when we tend to think of run aways, we don't think of them that young. is that at all typical,
yes, actually, the average age of entry into the life of prostitution is 12 to 13 years old and it's not unusual to find children young eer than that.
, let's talk about this case in particular. these stories are just so terrible. little kids forced to have sex everywhere from random apartment complexes to a men's room in a
. what else can you tell us about what the
and all these local agencies found?
, they started this
. it's the
initiative. they have 39 different
across the country, which really team up with a lot of the local agencies,
. they go in and now although the
, they're doing a great job and combatting this on a daily basis, they set up a lot of these operations. you know, a few times a year. in this particular case, this is what they did with these local agencies and they go in and figure out where the target problems are whether it's a motel,
, casino, maybe a seedy motel and maybe it's on the internet and they figure that out and they go in and they rescue these children and then they pick up the pimps. a lot of charges are local, state charges and they see if they can and that's where the information comes from, which leads to the bigger take downs of operations which then results in even more arrests and even more take downs but the problem here,
, is that once these girls are rescued, there really isn't a lot of resources for them. a lot of these are throw-away children. children that, they're beyond run aways. they're children that their parent don't want them and they don't have anywhere to go. there are not a lot of non-profits out there to help them.
talk about the reentry for these kids. if they ran away, some problems in the home to begin with.
well, that's right. they come from difficult circumstances in many cases, not in all cases. we do see some mid-income suburban kids that sometimes get lured into this maybe online. but, still, a lot of times these kids are staying in the prostitution life because it's better than at least, in their eyes, what they may have to return to.
just to hear the phrase, throw away children is enough to make you sick. but it is good to see that they are putting some of these criminals where they belong and hopefully they'll be behind bars and not terrorize kids for a long time.
anderson, thank you for all the good work you do.
, always great to have you on. thank you so much.