WASHINGTON—The fight against child sex trafficking is a top issue for today’s conservative movement. So much so, that one of the headline speakers at a high school leadership conference was Jaco Booyens, a director and producer whose sister was trafficked as a child.
“I was the guy looking for his sister. I was the guy who saw when she came home and she tried to commit suicide. I’m the guy who had to deal with it—me and my brother and my mom,” Booyens said at the High School Leadership Summit, a Turning Point USA event, at George Washington University on July 26.
Booyens said “moral fluidity” and the lack of truth is a huge problem in society today.
“Now we have things such as, ‘Hey there’s some people that love to have sex with children, deal with it,’” he said.
“No, I’m not going to deal with it, I’m going to fight it.”
Booyens implored the conservative but boisterous crowd of mostly young men to treat women well.
“Listen, guys, if we want our culture to be a culture that’s going to make America great again, we have to protect and invest in women,” he said. “I speak from first-hand experience—our women are under attack.”
Booyens compared the problem to drugs. “You don’t start with heroin, you start with an opioid and you end up on heroin. You don’t start with raping an 8-year-old, you start with soft porn.”
From there, he said, porn isn’t enough and males move to watching child porn, or forcing a girl to have sex.
“Pornography feeds the sexual exploitation of children,” he said. “The youngest child that we’ve rescued from sexual enslavery—that child had sex 20 times that day. She was 2 years old.”
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has collected evidence from numerous studies that prove that pornography and our hypersexualized culture are driving the insatiable desire for sex and the purchase of sex, including that of children.
Booyens said the fight has to be taken to the demand side of the $3 billion industry.
“You’ve got to go after the guy that pays for child pornography,” he said. He suggested to the audience members that they go to their conservative lawmakers and say, “How about we start going after the buyer. You buy sex with a teenager, you’ve got to go away for life.”
He said the Obama administration failed to help fight against child trafficking, but President Donald Trump has stepped up.
Trump issued an executive order on Feb. 9, 2017, that directs the government to “identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that engage in human trafficking.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified or rescued 904 sexually exploited children and 518 victims of human trafficking in fiscal 2017.
The Department of Justice announced on June 12 that it had arrested more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders in a sweeping nationwide operation, called Operation Broken Heart.
Trump has also supported anti-trafficking legislation, set up a task force, and placed funding into the State Department’s Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.
“My administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem,” Trump said on March 13.