Western Colorado Anti-Trafficking Conference

The Klein Frank Foundation is requesting your participation in its January 11, 2019 Western Colorado Anti-Trafficking Conference.  We are seeking speakers to educate law enforcement, educators, healthcare providers and the community on the 3P’s of Anti-Human Trafficking:

  1. Prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking.
  2. Prevention of human trafficking.
  3. Protection of the victims of human trafficking.

Contact Beth Klein at the Klein Frank Foundation 303-448-8884 to learn more details.

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney

Boulder-Based Attorney and Award-Winning Activist

Drawing upon more than 30 years of legal experience, Beth Klein is a Boulder, Colorado-based commercial litigation and personal injury attorney who has managed her own firm since 1993. During this time, Beth Klein has tried cases throughout the United States and won millions of dollars on behalf of her clients. She has been recognized among the Top 25 Women Lawyers in Colorado and Top 500 Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in the United States.

Throughout her career, Beth Klein has been a fervent supporter of victims of human trafficking. In addition to representing these individuals, she authored the state of Colorado’s anti-human trafficking laws in 2010 and 2011 following consultation with numerous states and countries. Her work in that regard helped her earn the Georgia Imhoff Activist Award and become a finalist for the CNN Hero Award.  She earned her juris doctor from the University of Denver and conducts leadership trainings.

The Death of BackPage.com

Yesterday a dream of Beth Klein’s came true, BackPage.com died. The on-line brothel – which has trafficked more than 80% of all victims and where hundreds of missing children were sold – was removed from the web. It happened after a Senate subcommittee released its report and just before a scheduled hearing during which internal operations could have been brought into daylight. The executives of the electronic brothel were too ashamed to talk about their activities, and they all took the 5th.

The website was founded in 2004 and operates in cities around the world. It began as a part of Craigslist. In 2010 Craigslist (and Ebay related company) divested Backpage which operated for profit until yesterday.

“This is a concerted effort to build a business enterprise around the trafficking of human beings,” Yiota Souras, general counsel for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told Newsweek last October. The center has identified more than 420 cases of missing children who wound up in Backpage ads. A separate team led by Arizona State University researchers has found more than 150 Backpage ads that feature minors.

The Report reviewed the company documents, totaling more than 1.1-million pages, and found evidence that Backpage knowingly facilitated prostitution and child sex trafficking. The business was highly profitable and experienced explosive growth, from $5.3 million in gross revenue in 2008 to $135 million in 2014.

Backpage has faced several lawsuits by women who say they were trafficked through the site and calls from The Sheriff of Chicago and others to cease its adult operations. Every lawsuit to shut it down has been dismissed ironically under an internet free speech law that Senator Ron Portman of Oregon sponsored. Ironically, Senator Portman was a co-chair of the anti-Backpage subcommittee. His law 47 U.S.C. 230 (Section 230), passed in 1996 was intended to protect websites from liability for third party content. This very law has protected the crime.

Last October, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced charges against the website’s chief executive officer, Carl Ferrer, and its founders, James Larkin and Michael Lacey. A judge dismissed those charges in December; about two weeks later, Harris announced new charges against the men.

Back page whined: “For years, the legal system protecting freedom of speech prevailed, but new government tactics, including pressuring credit card companies to cease doing business with Backpage, have left the company with no other choice but to remove the content in the United States.”

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a 53-page report on the findings from its investigation. “The company has long claimed that it is a mere host of content created by others and therefore immune from liability,” the report said. “The internal company documents obtained by the Subcommittee conclusively show that Backpage’s public defense is a fiction.” The report went on to say that Backpage had “concealed evidence of criminality” by editing ads, that it had acknowledged its role in facilitating sex trafficking and that Ferrer, Lacey and Larkin continued to own the website even though they had claimed to have distanced themselves from it.

Senator Claire McCaskill said Monday on Twitter, “It pays to never give up. Congressional investigations matter.” In another tweet, she indicated that the hearing would proceed despite Backpage’s decision to remove its adult ads.

Abolitionists celebrated the page’s death. The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) vowed to “fight back,” saying in a statement:

“It is hard to put into words the intense anxiety, stress and sense of oppression our community is currently experiencing. Right now, thousands of individuals are wondering where they are going to go to earn money they need to pay rent, buy their family’s clothes and food and fill their metro card or gas tank.”

Perhaps a look at the job ads on Craigslist would be a good move.

The Empowerment Project

The Empowerment Project is and Emmy nominated film that documents the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.  Beth Klein Boulder Attorney was honored to be featured in this film.

Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 17 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries.

In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey.  The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?”

The Empowerment Project has screened in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, organizations and corporations of all kinds with audiences as intimate as 10 and as grand as 1,000.

Take a look at how this documentary is impacting audiences around the United States by watching our tour video.

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By hosting a screening, you are empowering the future generation of strong women and men, and truly empowering the world.

Click here to learn about hosting the Empowerment Project Movie  

Click here for upcoming screenings