Craigslist ‘erotic services’ section now deleted from Canadian cities as well

The internet’s favourite online classifieds, Craigslist, has removed its ‘erotic services’ section from all Canadian cities. It did this with U.S. cities a couple of months ago. From The Province:

For weeks, several provinces, the federal government and human-trafficking experts have been calling on Craigslist, a U.S. online advertising firm, to pull sex ads from its Canadian sites.

The critics insist the websites had become the “medium of choice” for sex-traffickers to advertise their victims — including children — for sale.

“Several weeks ago, I sent a letter to Mr. Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist, to ask him to remove the erotic services ads from his Canadian websites,” Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Nicholson said in a statement over the weekend. “Our government was concerned that such advertisements could facilitate serious criminal offences, such as living on the avails of child prostitution and trafficking in persons. As well, these ads had already been removed from the American Craigslist websites. I am very pleased that these ads have now been removed from Craigslist Canadian websites and I thank Mr. Buckmaster for doing the right thing.”

Asked if there were still concerns over the ads that remained on Craigslist, a spokeswoman from Nicholson’s office said: “Our government is always concerned with any advertisement that could facilitate serious criminal offences, such as living on the avails of child prostitution and trafficking in persons. Unfortunately, as disturbing as they may be, the ads you are referring to are not considered illegal in Canada.”

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that any illegal trade will innovate and get past such minor obstacles. This is more of a political, we-do-good move by Craigslist. But it’s real impact will be a lot less than Craigslist and safety nazis tout.