The Department of Justice on June 12 announced it had arrested 2,300 suspects in a massive three-month operation targeting child sex abusers.
The operation specifically targeted those who either produced, distributed, or possessed child pornography, as well as those who enticed children online for sexual purposes, those who engaged in the sex trafficking of children, and those who traveled across state lines or to foreign countries to sexually abuse children.
“No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
“We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes. It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators.”
In total, the Department of Justice investigated more than 25,000 sexual abuse complaints. The operation involved 61 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces located across the nation.
The Trump administration has taken a strong stance against child sex trafficking.
In April, President Donald Trump signed a bill allowing states and victims to fight online sex trafficking, and providing law enforcement and victims with tools to fight these crimes.
According to estimates by the International Labor Organization, almost 5 million people around the world are being sexually exploited.
Twenty-one percent—or over 1 million—of those are children.
One in 7 children who are reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is likely a victim of child sex trafficking.
“Any would-be criminal should be warned: This Department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children,” Sessions said in his statement.
In April, the DOJ seized Backpage.com for being the “internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads.”
“For far too long, Backpage.com existed as the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike,” Sessions said at the time.