Friday, May 27, 2011

You Can Stop "Back Page" Human Trafficking Advertisements

In 2007, a landmark Human Trafficking trial was held in the Hartford, Connecticut Federal Court. In the testimony of that trial the Hartford Advocate, a local newspaper that is typical of alternative weeklies across America, was mentioned over 70 times. Why? Because Dennis Paris, the defendant in the trial, used the newspaper as his sole channel for advertising his victims in what he claimed was an "Escort" service. Read more about this case and the Hartford Advocate’s involvement in this Vanity Fair Magazine article.

Yet, even though the Department of Justice proved these ads were used to promote human trafficking, the Hartford Advocate continues to run these weekly "escort" advertisements in print, online, and even on their own Facebook Page. The Hartford Advocate, owned by The Hartford Courant, "the nation's oldest continually running newspaper," which is owned by the mammoth Tribune Company, makes money from this suffering every week. However, if this one newspaper takes up the courage to stop running these ads, then others will be highly motivated to do the right thing and end them as well. Here is what you can do to stop it . . . 

Go to the Hartford Advocate Back-Page Facebook page and tell them to stop running these ads. On the same page, you will notice a posting from Tribune National Account Executive Mike Uchalid, saying, "You know you want to.” He is, of course, referring to spending time with human trafficking victims, as proven by the Department of Justice in the Dennis Paris trial. Tell Mr. Uchalid, that you "don't want to" and insist he removes these ads from the Hartford Advocate, from their Website and from Facebook.

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