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Jaco Booyens: Trafficking Epidemic Fueled by Lockdowns, Police Cuts, and a Porous Border

Sex trafficking has spiked during the pandemic, as kids and teens in lockdown spend much of their waking hours on social media where traffickers and pimps can easily reach them, says anti-trafficking activist Jaco Booyens.

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, traffickers are exploiting U.S. border policies and children are being “sold like cattle,” Booyens says.

Police funding cuts have compounded the crisis. Departments targeting trafficking tend to be small and highly specialized—and they’ve been the first to go in the defund the police movement, Booyens says.

In this episode, Booyens breaks down the causes of the child sex trafficking crisis in America and the links he sees between sex trafficking, the pornography industry, and the spread of comprehensive sex ed curricula across the United States.

Jan Jekielek: Jaco Booyens, so good to have you back on American Thought Leaders.

Jaco Booyens: It’s an honor to be back. Thank you. You do such a phenomenal job. Thank you, Jan.

Mr. Jekeliek: Well, thank you. We interviewed, last time, about a year ago, and you told me some pretty difficult, difficult things about the realities of your work—basically, fighting sex trafficking. Tell me a little bit, today, about the scope of this problem here in America.

Mr. Booyens: The scope of human trafficking, look, we made progress, and this is not a political standpoint. We made progress. … We are turning the clock back at the moment.

When you start shutting organizations down, when you target certain religious organizations in the fight to get federal funding and say, “Unless you denounce your religious affiliation in rehab,” like, for instance, if an organization said, “Look, our trauma informed therapy is based on a Judeo-Christian principle,” they’re struggling to get federal funding. They’re profiled. You’re stifling those who fight against it, and you’re emboldening those who fight for it.

We have seen an epic increase in the last 10 months. I’d say the largest group of collateral damage in COVID has been the youngster being trafficked. They’re at home, with more time online. There’s a direct connection between the buyer of sex and the victim, eliminating the need for a pimp—the pimp has become Facebook.

It’s the social media platform where now the buyer can speak directly to the child, directly engage in pornographic images—arranging meetings, etc., preconditioning the child, desensitizing him.

We saw the same spike in teen suicide and domestic violence during COVID. The lockdown was really, really bad for trafficking. It was atrocious because online is predominantly where the first encounter happens today. It’s not in a red light district, right, Jan? It’s online. And so the numbers are epic.

Look, it’s already a $32 billion industry in the U.S., 79,000 kids per day in the state of Texas alone. That’s American born children. We’re not talking about, now, an issue on the border. We’re not even talking about, “Well, what happens with an influx of people?”

It’s my opinion, Jan, that it is the number one problem in our society today. It’s the fact that children truly are not safe. They’re not, because it’s now infiltrating the school system.

The most sickening part of this fight is, as there are many of us fighting against it, there’s an equal amount of fighting for the sexual exploitation of children. There’s over 13 states at the moment that are moving towards lowering the age of consent to 14.

When statutory rape is 17, when the law in that state says, “17 and under is a sex traffic victim,” we don’t have to prove force, fraud, coercion; he or she is a victim. No, the states want to lower the age of consent to get around the anti-trafficking laws.

In these proactive movements, NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Love Association]—a man-boy love organization, very, very prolific in fighting for the exploitation of children—is saying, “Pedophiles should have rights. Love is love. What’s the problem if a man wants to have sex with a child?” Well, let’s look at it from a child’s perspective.

Now, we’re getting into comprehensive sex ed, a curriculum that was funded and founded by the World Health Organization, UNESCO United Nations, SIECUS [Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States], and Planned Parenthood.

These guys wrote a sexual manifesto for the world’s youth that’s now resulted in the curriculum for kids in kindergarten, Jan, teaching masturbation in California, in kindergarten, to middle schoolers, talking about things that husbands and wives don’t talk about, sexual slang in a classroom.

It’s feeding the beast, and we’re trying to eliminate the beast, right? It’s a battle, it’s a war like never before.

Mr. Jekielek: You’ve covered so many things here. Okay, I want to kind of dig into a number of these, actually.

Mr. Booyens: Please, please.

Mr. Jekielek: But let’s just start with the scope. I think you said 79,000 children per day, in Texas alone, where we are now.

Mr. Booyens: Texas, alone.

Mr. Jekielek: So, what does that mean, exactly? Explain that number to me, and then tell me a little bit about nationally.

Mr. Booyens: That number means, in any given day, there’s 79,000 children in the state of Texas that are in the system of being sexually exploited. Does it mean all 79,000 that day had to, against their will, give sex for safety, security, whatever? No, nobody would know, but there’s 79,000. This is a Ken Paxton, attorney general of Texas, number. Our number in the industry is higher than that, but we’re going to go with the number that the AG’s office publishes.

So, think about that for a second. You’ve got 79,000. I live by the notion that one is too many. That’s the state of Texas. We have over half a million kids in America that’s in that situation today. And here’s a stat for you: only 1 percent of the crime is reported, and we have those numbers. When you see an Amber Alert, for instance, that’s 1 percent, right, because victims don’t self identify as victims, Jan.

We’re not just a talking head, talking politics. We’re on the ground. We’re working with the families. I was in a field a number of weeks ago looking for a body. We are there. We know what families go through. We understand the horrific reality of this crime. It’s real to people.

But victims don’t identify as victims. They learn that they were victimized because it’s a programming, it’s an indoctrination, it’s a lifestyle. It’s an acceptance of, “This is my value. This is my contribution to this family,” whether it’s an artificial family or a real family, right? So, it’s a very, very difficult fight to fight. But, yes, 79,000 per day in Texas.

Mr. Jekielek: Something that recently happened, actually, that maybe a lot of the country is aware of, there was this Operation Not Forgotten. I think almost 20 children were rescued. You were somehow involved in this, right

Mr. Booyens: Yes, and so many nonprofits are involved, always, working with law enforcement. What a lot of people don’t know is law enforcement cannot do this by themselves. They just physically don’t have the resources on what we call “on the street” or “on the track.” Yes, it involved a lot of apprehensions, a lot of rescues. A lot of those are active cases going on at the moment.

But there were a number of those operations, and they really, Jan, stemmed from the White House that signed an executive order to say, “Look, interdepartmental agencies have to communicate.”

It released the U.S. Marshal service, which was very involved there, ICE, and the FBI to collaborate with local law enforcement police departments because the strange occurrence is that they don’t communicate. They don’t share cases yet. The traffic victims are transient. They’re being moved throughout the country.

So if you build a case in Dallas, Texas, and all of a sudden, the child, like our most recent rescue—the child is now in Las Vegas—those police departments didn’t used to communicate with one another. So you start over.

The traffickers knew this, and that’s why Not Forgotten and some of the other huge sting operations that happened in recent history were very successful because departments could communicate, and funding was appropriated for it.

Mr. Jekielek: What’s the status of that communication, as we speak?

Mr. Booyens: At the moment, it’s broken down and it’s all about funding. It’s going to be a directive, because, look, it’s federal, right? So, you’ve got federal agencies, a U.S. Marshal service, and any FBI domestically. Then, you’ve got local sheriff’s departments, task forces.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of anti-trafficking task forces—these are law enforcement individuals with a specific training towards how to profile and rescue a child—a lot of task forces have been shutting down. We just lost our vice unit in Dallas, Texas—shut down completely.

That’s part of the defund the police movement, and sadly, in the defund the police movement, the first community that suffered, honestly, was those abused sexually, because those are very specific departments, normally very small, five, six members in a unit, and it’s special funding.

When that funding is cut, they’re back into a different department. Now, all of a sudden, you have a huge burden that shifts back on the non-government organizations without the necessary law enforcement resources. It’s a chain, and if you break a link in the chain, it is broken.

We can’t, as an NGO, go arrest people. We can’t go through doors and rescue a child without a warrant. You have to work with law enforcement. Does law enforcement have the manpower in that community? Do they have the training in that community on how to rescue a child? Do they have the victim services in the community? If there’s a rescue, now what? Where does the child go? That’s the largest problem, to be honest with you. It’s big.

Mr. Jekielek: This is really troubling to hear. I imagine the people, these small units, actually have some very, very specific skills and experience.

Mr. Booyens: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: When this defunding happens, what happens to these people?

Mr. Booyens: They go back into the normal law enforcement department. The units get disbanded. The anti-trafficking task force, the unit, the special response team specifically towards trafficking—which means they wake up in the morning, and all they do is protect children, find children, place children, work with NGOs—now, that officer goes back and becomes a normal officer, with a great case load that could range from drug to traffic stops, to domestic violence, disturbance, all the other things, and physically don’t have the manpower and the time to build these cases.

Once we recognize a child is missing, or even more difficult, more important when it’s a familial trafficking situation—which is the fastest rising trend, family members trafficking their own children—now, the child is not missing. The child’s not lost, Jan. The child lives at home, but is trafficked. The child’s on the soccer team, but is being trafficked. That’s deep investigation; it needs manpower and finance.

That’s why I’m saying non-government organizations, such as our own and many others, do the brunt of that work and then kind of hand the baton in partnership to a law enforcement organization.

But to ask law enforcement today, in our country, to do that job? They’re understaffed. They’re underfunded. The units just don’t exist.

Mr. Jekielek: I want to go back to the police for a second, but something you just said made me a little ill, which is this idea that there’s this traffic happening within families. So you’re aware and working on cases like this?

Mr. Booyens: Most of our cases today are familial trafficking. Now, it’s not always a father, but it is a familiar member—a coach, a teacher. It could be someone in the clergy, a pastor, a priest, but it’s someone very close to the family, someone the family trusts.

Psychologically, in the world of pedophilia, there’s graduating forms of pedophilia. There’s a stage a pedophile reaches where they want to perpetrate and harm a child in public. They want to harm a child in the open. It’s kind of a bravado of saying, “I can traffic children. I can harm them in front of your face, and you don’t know it.”

They’d be friend, family members, or a father. Most of them are fathers, to be honest with you. And it’s for financial gain, it’s because they get hooked on porn, it graduates radically into buying sex from an adult, and it’s a drug. Then, they go younger and younger. Unfortunately, the fastest rising trend of trafficking in our country, Jan, is familial, a hundred percent.

Mr. Jekielek: I don’t even know how to respond to this, because—

Mr. Booyens: It’s the most difficult to fight. You can imagine. When it’s a kid that’s running away, and also, most of the runaways, most of the foster children being trafficked don’t have family members that are looking for them. They’re already destitute.

Now, the kid that is kidnapped, and 2 percent of the situation is kidnapping—this is not the movie “Taken”, this is real life—2 percent are kidnappings. But let’s say there’s a child that’s kidnapped or taken by a trafficker, right? Still, there may be somebody looking for that child. When it’s a child that’s trafficked by a family member, it’s concealed, it’s hidden.

When an authority figure sexually abuses a child, it’s very different than when it’s a stranger because when it’s an authority figure, it’s a different kind of imprinting. There’s a whole different kind of trauma that sets into that child because now it’s like, “The person I would run to to defend me is the one harming me. I got nowhere to go.”

Mr. Jekielek: Tell me a little bit about the reality around trafficking at the border, then.

Mr. Booyens: For me, the border issue is not a political issue. I just kind of talk about children. We have to understand the last 50 miles on the Mexican side of the border is a hundred percent controlled by the cartels.

There’s massive pressure on families to release children—the promise of a child having a future in America—that most of the children, by the time they get to the border, they’ve already been sexually exploited. There’s already been an indoctrination, not even our side of the border.

Not to mention that it’s almost impossible to rescue a child or fight for a child that’s being trafficked in America who doesn’t have a social security number. There’s not a birth certificate. It’s a ghost. We’re looking for ghosts, and we’re finding them in Maine, in Chicago—kids who don’t have family members.

But let’s go one step further. We talk about 80 percent of the people, the human beings, that are coming across the border at the moment. Arguably, 180,000, in the most recent months are young men under the age of 20—adolescents.

We know that MS-13 [gang] recruits at 12. We know that, at the age of 15, the boys are trafficking girls in Mexico, in Mexico City, the kidnapping capital of the world.

We’re now by default, no question, also allowing MS-13 members at age 15, 16, 17, we’re finding, enter the country under the guise of, “Well, where’s your humanity?” Well, wait a second. We got to pause. We’ve got to make sure at the border that they’re not affiliated with a gang that traffics children, that they’re not actually the groomer and the trafficker, themselves. “Well y’all, come on, that’s ridiculous. They’re 17.” The gang recruits at 12, the gang trains them at 13. They start trafficking children at 15.

The real conversation, Jan, is not being had in our culture today about, “Hey, what is the danger to American youth with an open border?” Let’s have that conversation. Let’s not talk about policy and trade, the taxation on the health care system, and all the other things.

I just want to have the conversation about the child that comes over that’s now in your child’s school. What’s that mindset that’s migrated in? Or the child that’s 17 that was the trafficker in Mexico, that was complicit in Mexico.

Does that mean it’s every child? Of course not, but it means we have to prove and verify. We have to be able to see because we are now apprehending youth in the country who are part of trafficking rings, who are the traffickers, the abusers, who are here undocumented. It’s just a fact.

Is that all of them? No, but it’s enough to say, “Whoa, caution, red flag.” We got to stem the tide here, right? That’s a hundred percent the occurrence on the border at the moment.

That’s why I’m for a controlled border—to protect that child, not even the American child, but the child that’s being lied to, lured to the border, who’s from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico City, wherever, right? That child is in danger.

So, I’m saying this publicly, and this is me. Shame on the Mexican president for not having a policy to protect his own nation’s children and on his side of the border because they’re being exploited and sold like cattle, sold like slaves, sold like objects by some parents who have the hope that they have the American dream.

But what’s the reality? That child shows up in America, right? When you cross the Texas border, you’re in the desert. You’re a very long way from a civilization that can actually help that child. When we have members of our administration make a promise to the world that, “When a child crosses the border, we guarantee them a safe family,” that’s a lie.

How can I prove that? Our own foster children aren’t safe in this country. Our own foster children are being sexually exploited. Sixty percent of American foster children have had a sexual encounter against their will.

We’re having a hard time protecting our own children, but we’re going to promise the world that, “Bring your children and we can keep them safe.” It’s a lie. We can’t. We don’t have the resources.

Mr. Jekielek: Just what kind of numbers are we talking about, that you’re aware of, of these children that have basically been turned into traffickers?

Mr. Booyens: Our number is 30 percent of children that cross the border, 30 percent will be sexually exploited. Am I saying all 30 percent will be in a perpetual cycle of sex trafficking? It’s impossible to know that number. Nobody knows that number.

But about 30 percent is our number that we work on, as NGOs: 30 percent of their children that cross the border, at some point very soon after they cross, if not prior to crossing, will be sexually exploited.

And a sexually exploited child, one time, is so vulnerable, Jan, to a predator. So who knows that real number? I mean, we’re drinking from a fire hose ourselves in real time. We’ve never seen 180,000 people approach the border in a 90 day cycle, with 80 percent of men under the age of 21. We don’t even know.

We won’t know for the next five years what that does to a society, a culture. We’re learning day by day. But I can tell you what we’re seeing on the ground. It’s not good. It’s terrible. And it’s under false pretense and false promise.

Mr. Jekielek: One thing you said a little bit earlier was about how you view pornography as part of the process, almost like a drug, leading from this stage to something like pedophilia. How documented is this, in studies and so forth?

Mr. Booyens: Very very documented.

Mr. Jekielek: Explain to me how that works.

Mr. Booyens: Dr. Judith Reisman, recently deceased, rest in peace, an amazing woman, at Liberty University, great school, was the foremost scholar and writer on Alfred Kinsey. We have to roll the clock way back, Jan, to give perspective to this.

In the fifties, Kinsey was hailed as the greatest American scientist. He was supported by presidents. He was funded by the federal government, and he did studies, sexual studies, on children as young as six weeks old, based on orgasm, a hundred percent real issue. Do your homework. Alfred Kinsey.

Kinsey wrote the sexuality of the human race doctrine for America. Everything we have today stems from Kinsey’s work. The sexual revolution in the sixties came from Kinsey. The love is love movement came from Kinsey, and his opinion was: children are sexual beings, and you should be able to engage with sex with children. And he was hailed as the greatest scientist.

Let me remind everybody that there’s not a civilization in history that survived, that embraced sex with children and with minors. The Greeks fell because of sexual immorality. So did the Romans, right?

We embraced the sexual revolution in the sixties, and it birthed this massive explosion of porn in our country. People would think they should have access to porn if they want to, and “Surely, it hurts nobody.”

It hurts everybody. Do you know, Jan, proven scientifically, porn is a drug, it’s the most violent drug of them all, and it’s the only drug that retraces the neuro pathways in the brain. It actually changes how you operate cognitively.

Cocaine doesn’t do that. Cocaine influences you while you’re under its influence. It doesn’t permanently change brain chemistry. Permanently, porn does that.

There’s not a single pedophile that’s not a porn addict. There’s not a single child abuser that’s not a porn addict. They start living life daily for the sexual high.

Well, here’s your problem. An opioid high can last three hours. If you’re really good at using drugs, you can ride it up, down, up, down, and have a day’s worth of high. A sexual high lasts 30 seconds. So you have more frequency of use. So you progress down the chain of the drug much faster.

Think of it this way, if sex is a set of train tracks, you can’t say porn is on a different track, child abuse is on a different track, prostitute—no, it’s one track. Where are you on the track? We’re all sexual beings. Are you on the track at “and I stopped where that’s healthy?” A relationship with one partner, where you say, “for me, it’s marriage,” right?

Or are you further down the track where you engage in pornography, or maybe a little further down the track where it’s hardcore pornography, or you’re purchasing sex down the track, or you’re far enough down the track where now, you’re purchasing sex from minors. It’s the same track.

Porn feeds the beast, any engagement in porn, Jan. This is not a judgment. It is a scientific fact. Any engagement in porn, even social, casual porn, feeds the beast that ultimately exploits children. That’s the ultimate price for people. They want to go younger, younger, pre-puberty. Right. Right? The virgin pre-puberty.

It’s the same set of tracks. Pornography is the entry drug that results later on into sex trafficking. Am I saying anybody that watches porn traffics children? No, but you’re on the track. And the red light is flashing. You’re heading in the wrong direction. You’re too far down the track. It’s time to get help and come to a healthy sexual mindset and environment.

Mr. Jekielek: I’ve done some reading about this, about how pornography alters brain chemistry, but this whole idea about the logical conclusion of a track is obviously a very highly contentious issue.

Mr. Booyens: And you can contend it, if you don’t really know and interact with the community. If I would say, okay, 50 percent of pedophiles watch porn [that would be one thing]. No, 100 percent are addicted to porn—100 percent. This is a critical element in our society that we’re normalizing, but it’s an action that violates human rights. It’s an action that violates people.

When people say, “Well, in this porn video, nobody’s getting hurt. She wants to do it.” Do you know that over 60 percent of women in porn are placed in that video by their pimp because they’re not making enough money on the track? They’ve got a quota. The porn industry is 100 percent complicit and infiltrated with sex trafficking.

People watch a porn video. Then, they expect their husband or wife to produce that kind of a performance for them. But it’s an artificial performance. It’s a film; it’s take number 27. There’s drugs involved. There’s exploitation involved. There’s indoctrination involved. There’s pressure. It’s artificial. It can never be recreated in a healthy relationship.

It’s a drug; it’s a drug. Look at the other things, the [side effects.] Look at alcoholism, and divorce and alcoholism. Trace those two things, right? And it’s a high correlation. Alcoholism leads to divorce. Porn use, a higher rate of divorce. Disassociation with family members, porn is higher than alcohol.

There’s not a single drug that alienates and breaks apart more violently than porn, because the drug is so violently progressive. You can’t slow it down. Do you know that today our number one segment of society with erectile dysfunction disorder is 18 to 23 year olds? Why 18 to 23 year olds?

Because the average age of porn entry in America today for boys is age eight. Now, you have self-stimulation on porn, desensitization, the porn needs to be more violent, more graphic, or more risque, to get the dopamine effect, to get the high, to get the climactic sexual experience.

You’re desensitizing a child through their puberty years. We’ve got college students that have to go on medicine to function properly. That’s the result of porn, a hundred percent.

Mr. Jekielek: Since the advent of the internet, there’s been a shocking [trend]. When I say shocking, I mean a shocking change to society. Because even I remember when I was a kid, you had to go to the video store if you wanted to touch the forbidden fruit of pornography.

Mr. Booyens: Buy the magazine that was behind the black cover.

Mr. Jekielek: Right, that kind of thing

Mr. Booyens: Right, they asked your age. Man, I had to get a friend that was older to buy it.

Mr. Jekielek: Somehow in this time period from then to here, it’s basically on demand available to anybody.

Mr. Booyens: And it’s free. This is the shocking part, because we have to talk big tech. We have to talk the responsibility. We have to talk Section 230. You can’t tell me that you should be able to access free pornography on YouTube. Because if you can access it, a five-year old can access it, because they don’t ask the five-year old. You shouldn’t be able to have child porn on Facebook. You shouldn’t be able to access free porn.

But those who produce porn understand. “We’ll give you your trial sample for free,” because it’s violently addictive. We’ve got 12 year old boys we’re working with, Jan, that are addicted, that watch two and a half hours of porn a week. That child’s life is destroyed.

The amount of rehab for that child to just reset, in that child, the purpose of women, the value of women, the value of men, the value of love. Everything is destroyed. What’s love? What is consent? What is consensual? What’s risque? What is socially acceptable, now?

That child is in a tailspin. And, now, we want that child, when they’re 21 or 22, to be able to fight for their first amendment right? That child will not fight for anything. … If he’s 21 and he can survive—a sexually compromised human being is a broken human being that can’t fight.

I’ll argue, and this is my opinion, and I’m not speaking for the community: it’s by design. It’s by design, because I can show you policies that are being written in Congress to promote the exploitation of children. I can show you. It has to be by design.

My argument is you don’t break America with war. You don’t break America with the stock market or with financial crisis. We’ve lived through recessions. I was at the Hoover Dam the other day and just relived the ingenuity that took to put our labor force to work.

You break America was sexual immorality. That’s how you break this country. And if you touch the youth, boys age eight, the average age to enter porn. Porn is free on the internet. It’s on social media. Do you know that over 65 percent of middle school girls today in our country have sent a nude picture of themselves through social media, through TikTok, or a text message, a sext?

You’ve got Vogue, Teen Vogue Magazine, training them. This is public, literally a 12-page publication, telling girls what’s the right lighting, the right camera angle, how to take a nude selfie, the value it’s going to give you, the affirmation it’s going to give you. That is proactively moving children towards desensitizing themselves for sex with adults, ultimately. It’s evil.

Mr. Jekielek: This is a big allegation. You’re saying you believe that there are policies, there are actual policies that you looked at, that have to be deliberately trying to hurt the American people through their youth. Direct me to these policies that you’re talking about.

Mr. Booyens: [We have to] understand the progression of where this came from. The World Health Organization was part of writing what I would call a sexual manifesto for the world’s youth. They brought in UNESCO, which is a United Nations organization. They brought in SIECUS, which is a U.S. government organization over curriculum. They brought in the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.

That mindset, that manifesto, it’s not a curriculum, that mindset, saying, “This is where sexuality should go with youth,” went to Africa and went to Scotland. It got incorporated in Scotland in the form of a curriculum called Comprehensive Sex Ed.

And then, Gavin Newsom was the first governor in our country to sign an executive order to bring Comprehensive Sex Ed into the public school system of California. Go look at State Bill 1-45. Go look at Assembly Bill 22-18.

Go look at these bills that are highly controversial, bringing in sexual content under the guise of the 1970 Obscenity Exemption Statute, where you can have nude pictures in the library, nude pictures in the museum, and now in curriculum. It’s illustrated, but it’s porn. For 10 year olds, age 10. Where a child opens up [the book], and it’s full frontal nudity, bent over, of a girl.

They’re discussing sexual slang in the classroom. They get a thing called the Genderbread Person, which is a non-sexual stick figure. They pin on sexuality. They use sexual slang. They’re told that consent is their choice. Children are by law given sexual agency in the state of California, to get puberty blockers at age three.

Now, we have a Comprehensive Sex Ed curriculum that’s being taught in classrooms. It started in Austin, Texas, for crying out loud. Because independent school district superintendents can opt in. Right? So, they opt in to Comprehensive Sex Ed. They may bring it under another name, but it’s Comprehensive Sex Ed; it’s the curriculum. It’s perfectly normal. “What’s Happening to My Body for Boys,” “What’s Happening to My Body for Girls,” and “Sex, Puberty and Stuff” are books children are reading in the classroom.

Now, I told you earlier, familial trafficking is worse than any other form because it’s an authority figure that says it’s okay. So, what do you think happens to a boy in a classroom, when he’s talking, engaging in conversation, about sex, about sex with the same gender, about sex with adults? About experimenting with sex, and he’s 10, and it’s a teacher that’s teaching him this class.

Do you know that if a teacher refuses to teach it, the school district will bring in a Planned Parenthood representative to teach the class. This is fact, well-documented. These bills are rampant around the country.

Governor Inslee, in the State of Washington, signed it in, executive order. We’re working with these state school boards, that are saying, “We didn’t even have a choice, to vote on this; it was an executive order.”

Radical policy, Jan, through our country. It came to Texas. It got voted down in the State of Texas, but independent school districts opted in. This is all about having a sexual conversation with a child in the classroom.

What for? People were arguing, “Well, we need to help children because teen pregnancy is out of control.” No, you’re not teaching them about safe sex. You’re introducing sexual concepts to a brain that’s not capable. We’re having a hard time, as men in our forties or whatever we are, handling sex in sexual relationships and conversation. I mean, it’s complex.

A five-year old? Do you know that it’s in kindergarten? A five-year-old. We now have, in two states in the U.S., handing out condoms to fifth graders in the classroom. Why would I hand a condom to a fifth grader? Because they’re already teaching Comprehensive Sex Ed.

You’re activating a young mind to think sex. The second you do that, Jan, the pedophile online can spot that child. He can find a needle in a haystack because he knows which child has had sexual conversation. He knows which child is open to sexual conversation.

The minute you open it in the classroom, you can’t shut it off when the kid’s now on Facebook, on TikTok. You can’t shut it off when the kid now sees a sexual image on Facebook. “Oh, that’s wrong? It’s not wrong. I saw it in the classroom.” So, it’s desensitization. That’s a fact. And it’s rampant in our country, rampant.

Mr. Jekielek: Your contention, basically, is that this is contributing massively to creating a bigger pool of children that are susceptible to the sex trafficking.

Mr. Booyens: A hundred percent, because you now have a child who, two weeks ago, was not thinking as a sexual being and is now introduced to this concept of sex, variety of forms of sex, right? Same sex relationships, different sexual positions, different methods.

Like I said, Teen Vogue [is writing about] how to send nudes of yourself. It’s by an authority figure, so it’s okay. It’s a stamp of approval. “My teacher had this conversation with me, who was an adult.”

Now, when another adult spots that child online and engages in the conversation of sex, even at a little level, the child doesn’t resist because, “I’m having this conversation with an adult, in the classroom.” It’s radical.

It raises the class that’s available to pedophiles to exploit. It’s desensitization, where in the past, the pedophile had to do all the desensitization. The pedophile had to groom the child, over a period of time, before they could get the child to engage in a real sex conversation or in sex talk.

The pedophile doesn’t have to do the grooming anymore. The grooming is happening in the classroom. And so that’s why I’m telling you, it has just exploded the amount of online trafficking situations, because the child no longer sees a red flag when an adult wants to talk to him about sex.

Mr. Jekielek: You’re basically saying that COVID was a perfect, terrible storm, so to speak, because you have all these kids that are spending so much more time online. And at the same time, over how long a period have these curriculums or these ideas been in play?

Mr. Booyens: Gavin Newsom signed his into effect six months before COVID hit. Governor Inslee signed his order into effect March 19th, during the shutdown when no parents could protest, signed an executive order. It literally coincided with COVID. COVID [lockdowns] were the worst timing possible for this issue, because what happened, Jan?

Moms had to homeschool. They were pulling their hair out of their head. “My kids are home. I don’t know what to do with them.” They pacified their children with what? With the cell phone, with the iPad, online. Kids now had seven hours a day [online]. Their time wasn’t occupied; they’re not in class; they’re not in extracurricular activities. The more frequency of use on a platform, the more accessibility to the pedophile, to find the soft target.

Mr. Jekielek: How are you actually seeing this explosion that you’re describing? How is that manifesting?

Mr. Booyens: That was a direct contributor to the spike in familial trafficking. We saw an absolute connection, down to the month and the day. Familial trafficking has always been there, but you saw a hockey stick curve during COVID. You saw fathers engage in sexual activity with their own children at home, because they couldn’t go anywhere, and they used to go somewhere.

You saw men that bought sex outside of the house start enacting sexual violence in the home on their wives. Just talk to the ERs. Talk to nurses today and say, “Hey, what happened during COVID with domestic abuse and domestic violence?” Skyrocketing. How many of them were sexually affiliated? Most of them. Right. …

The worst thing that could have happened was the lockdown because, one, it pushed people online, but it also trapped families, and it trapped the perpetrator. Now, if he was not trafficking his own children—or sexually exploiting, because it’s not always trafficking, it could just be child abuse— he’s started turning his sights to his own family members.

There’s an absolute correlation, scientific correlation, mathematical correlation, of what happened in that time. How long did it go? A very long time.

Now, that guy or woman that changed their method of abuse, do you think when we said, “Well, the country’s back open,” they just go, “Well, I’m going to go back to my old method.” No, this is a drug. They now are going to continue to want that type of activity. Right? So, there’s an absolute correlation.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. What I’m trying to figure out is did you see this through these online type- relationships, as opposed to the internals?

Mr. Booyens: Oh no, through the cases, through the actual rescues, through apprehension, through the sting operations. Like so many of the operations we’ve seen, because, remember, there are interviews with pedophiles, there are interviews with victims, there’s conversation with women that come what we call “off the track.” And it’s not just children.

Adults are being trafficked. Adults can be trafficked. Remember, it’s under force, fraud, or coercion. If their life’s at stake, if it’s their livelihood, if they’re threatened, if they were exploited as a child and then they aged out of the system.

A child’s trafficked at 16. The law changes at 18, that child can’t just all of a sudden flip a switch and go, “Okay, I’m 18. Now, I need to be responsible, and this is wrong.” They’re still in the life.

When you look at the city of Las Vegas, when you look at the movement towards legalizing prostitution in our country, that’s another move that’s coming. Watch: legalizing prostitution. Decriminalizing prostitution is very different than decriminalizing the prostitute but criminalizing the buyer.

It’s time that we criminalize the purchaser of a sex. It’s time that we go after the demand. Because you can fight supply all you want. If there’s demand, somebody will supply. I always argue, the minute they removed El Chapo, the drug trade didn’t stop. There were three guys that thanked us, too: “Thank you. Now, I can step up and take more territory.”

You’ve got to go after demand. There’s a sick, twisted, disproportionate demand for sex with children in our country. Someone will supply, unless we go after demand.

Things like legalizing prostitution is on the docket. It’s a real thing. The second you legalize prostitution, you no longer call it prostitution. You call it sex work. Now, labor laws come into effect. Now, the pimp is an employer. It’s an employee. Now, there’s rights. Now, you can litigate. Now, there’s precedent. Right?

Mr. Jekielek: But those same abusive relationships are still in play exactly like before.

Mr. Booyens: It’s actually going to escalate. There’s not a single country in the world that legalized prostitution where child trafficking didn’t skyrocket. For example, Denmark. It’s like any other drug. Look at Boulder, Colorado. They legalized marijuana.

Go talk to any of the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] about Boulder. Every illicit illegal drug is present in Boulder, Colorado. Because a junkie, someone who’s an addict, will go to Boulder to get any kind of a fix.

Now all of a sudden, because you legalize one drug—and I’m not saying this to be anti-marijuana, but it’s an example—people who consume, who are an addict, will go to where they can get supply.

Look at Las Vegas. There are only nine counties in the state of Nevada where prostitution is legal. The strip of Vegas is not one of them. Yet, there’s trafficking and prostitution on the strip of Vegas. It’s all illegal.

It’s because the few entities that have a legal license to run as brothels cannot supply the avalanche of the demand of the world that comes to Sin City, Vegas. So, the pimps flocked to Vegas. This is why we just rescued a child in Vegas, from Dallas. They take them to Vegas because men want to buy sex on the strip.

It’s not legal on the strip. It’s not legal with a minor. But it’s present. So when you create an environment where you legalize the sex trade, it will be an avalanche that I don’t know how we could stop in this country. Our real politicians in senior administration, this is a policy for them, to legalize prostitution. And there’s massive support for it. And it will break our culture.

Mr. Jekielek: You’re saying in the trends that you’re seeing right now, one of them is this familial trafficking.

Mr. Booyens: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: Which I find so horrifying, frankly. The second one is a push to legalize prostitution more broadly than it is currently. What else are you seeing, right now?

Mr. Booyens: The third one is the infiltration in the school system: a curriculum, a comprehensive sex ed curriculum, that’s in the school system, that’s desensitizing children. That’s making them—it’s putting a target on their forehead for any predator. It’s putting a target on their forehead. Those three things are absolutely critical to combat, in our culture today.

And then, there’s the movement of gender, the gender conversation, because the sex trafficking conversation touches the gender conversation a hundred percent. Of course, because it’s another form of indoctrination.

In the state of California today, age three and up, a child can get a puberty blocker. Now, that child may say, “Hi, I think I’m a boy, but I’m a girl.” That child gets sexual agency by state law. The parents can’t combat it. They can get a puberty blocker. They give most of them a drug called Lupron. Lupron is a drug for men who have prostate cancer that will sterilize you. It’s permanent sterilization.

You need to understand, Jan, how this works. They’ll bring a bill to the table, mostly. And they’ll position that bill in front of a Senate or a House committee under some sort of a health care act—you know, the Gender Equity Fund or the Transgender Equity Fund or the Diversity Healthcare Plan. And, then, when you look into it, it’s comprehensive sex ed. It’s a curriculum in the school.

What most Americans don’t know is once a curriculum is in a school, the process it goes through to get approved. When you write volume two, volume three, volume four, you don’t go through the process again. So once it’s in, you can shift it radically because it’s in the system and it’s being taught, and it’s already radical just to be in there.

Those are the key three things I want your viewer to understand. We cannot legalize prostitution. Children will suffer a hundred percent. We have to fight comprehensive sex ed. It’s not the teacher’s job. They need to teach math, science, English, and creative arts.

They don’t need to be talking to your 5-year-old or your 10-year-old about sexual positions, slang for the women’s body, how to give consent. That’s the parent’s job. They do not need to have that conversation.

Then lastly, we have to understand that if we run with this notion that law enforcement is not necessary, it’s impossible for us to rescue a single child. If I go down the street today with the intel I have today—we’re working 13 cases at the moment. Personally, I know where some of these children are. If I go through that door without a warrant, I’ll get arrested. Right?

Now, I need district attorneys. I need judges. I need local law enforcement. I need the police chiefs. I need all those people to be educated on the issue. One of our critical issues in this country, while we don’t see any convictions, the district attorneys won’t take the cases. They won’t take the case as a trafficking case to court.

It’s a really difficult case to fight, so it’s always played down to a misdemeanor or a drug charge or an illegal arms charge, because they always run hand-in-hand, or a tax evasion charge or something else. All of a sudden, the 30 year sentence for trafficking children, gets down to 13 months, 1,000 hours of community service.

The issues we have in our society—people need to understand why it’s important to appropriate funding to the cost, specifically, so that people can get the right training, so that when they deal with the child that was exploited, that child’s not a prostitute. Right?

But the law is predominantly written for prostitution. Even at a federal level, at the point of arrest, we’re trying to reform the arrest period, so it’s not logged as a prostitution case, because now there’s court precedent for it. It’s not, “This is child sexual exploitation.”

It’s very technical, at times, with legislation. I’ll be with the governor of Oklahoma in a couple of weeks. He’s signing a bill I helped co-author with Congressman Russ about every college student in the state of Oklahoma, in their orientation week, getting awareness training on online trafficking and how it works, because we have to raise the level of awareness to the child and the parent.

Mr. Jekielek: There’s so many things that are so incredibly troubling from everything you’ve told me today.

Mr. Booyens: And it touches every family. You can no longer in our country say, “Well, it’s not in my neighborhood.” It’s in every zip code. “Well, we know what a pimp looks like.” No, you don’t. You know, the U.S. gymnastics team head coach and the Boy Scouts of America, 83,000 lawsuits. Who would have thought in your right mind that in the Boy Scouts of America, there would be child abuse.

It has taken on every face, in every form, of society. So ultimately, Jan, the onus and the responsibility [is on us]. I’m a man of faith, so for me, in the word of God, Ezekiel 33 says that the watchman on the wall needs to warn of the atrocities—I’m paraphrasing—and, if you don’t, the blood is on the hands of the watchman.

Be careful that the blood’s not on our hands for not warning the community, saying, “Hey, it’s in your community.” The onus falls back on the father, on the nuclear family, on reuniting the American family, on bringing people together.

When people say, “Jaco, I want to fight sex trafficking, let’s go charge Capitol Hill.” I say, “Please, don’t. Fight in your zip code, on your street, your school board, make the fight local and make it real.” If we do that, we’ll win the battle.

Mr. Jekielek: Jaco Booyens, it’s such a pleasure to have you on again.

Mr. Booyens: Thank you, Jan. You’re amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you Epoch Times, the best. Thank you very much.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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