Rusty Havens recently joined International Justice Mission (IJM) in Washington, D.C. for the 2023 Advocacy Summit. Alongside about 150 other advocates from around the country, we called on our 118th Congress to take bipartisan action and pass the EARN IT Act to protect children around the world from online exploitation.
A recently released study from IJM and the University of Nottingham Rights Lab showed that nearly half a million Filipino children were sexually abused by adults in 2022 to create new online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) materials. Child sex offenders around the world are seeking out traffickers online and paying them to livestream explicit child abuse, with the offenders often directing the exploitation in real-time. Abusers in the United States were the top buyers of such abuse according to the study.
Bipartisan enactment of the EARN IT Act would legally require internet powerholders to detect and report OSEC on their platforms. EARN IT will also set up a national commission as an avenue for survivors of this abuse to speak into decisions about protecting children around the world and safeguarding our data privacy and security. I urge Louisiana’s own Rep. Mike Johnson to cosponsor it & to swiftly move to pass the EARN IT Act and urge my fellow Louisianans to do the same by going here: www.ijm.org/earn-it-2023 Together, we can make a difference.