09/17/2010 04:56 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Craigslist Adult Services Shutdown: It's About Human Rights

That's why it was so critical to take down what became the "Walmart" of child prostitution and sex trafficking online. It is now less convenient, easy, and normative to sell girls online.

We can obfuscate the dirty little secret in America that girls are being sold for sex on a legitimate website like Craigslist, and on streets. We can make ourselves feel comfortable by talking about the girls who are prostituted in India and Thailand as victims of sex trafficking, but cast aside the girls sold off of Craigslist as "hookers" or just bad girls.

We can neatly gloss over the ugly business of commercial sexual exploitation that disfigures the lives of poor and undereducated girls, who are usually Black or Brown, as just being about escort services, or the choice work of some sexually free-thinking graduate students. And we can talk about the first amendment rather than the human rights issue of American children being bought and sold for sex.

Or, we can start asking the very difficult question of why in 21st century America, any girl is for sale?