More than 90 anti-trafficking organizations are denouncing QAnon in an open letter

Kelly McLaughlin
·2 min read
QAnon supporter
A Donald Trump supporter holding a QAnon flag visits Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 01, 2020 in Keystone, South Dakota. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • At least 96 anti-trafficking organizations have signed an open letter criticizing QAnon's conspiracy theories about sex trafficking. 

  • The letter, signed by groups including Freedom Network USA, Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, the Human Trafficking Institute, and more, say QAnon is harming the actual work they're doing to prevent sex trafficking. 

  • "There is not a deep state cabal of Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities who traffic children for sex," the organizations said. 

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At least 96 anti-trafficking organizations have denounced QAnon in an open letter that criticizes the group's sex trafficking conspiracy theories.

QAnon, which originated on the internet message board 4chan, has spent years promoting a false notion that President Donald Trump is fighting a cabal of Democratic elites running a vast pedophilic sex-trafficking ring.

The group's anti-trafficking campaign, which included false notions about Wayfair and a USPS phishing scam, has spread across the internet, and been supported by numerous candidates in the November US election. But the campaign relies on exaggerated data, false accusations of children being kidnapped from their homes, and partisan rhetoric.

And actual anti-trafficking organizations and trafficking survivors have long criticized QAnon's baseless conspiracy theories.

In a letter signed by groups including Freedom Network USA, Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, the Human Trafficking Institute, and dozens of others, the groups said QAnon's theories are harming their actual work to prevent sex trafficking.

"The majority of trafficked youth have been abused or neglected, have run away or don't have stable housing, or are immigrant children fleeing violence in their home countries to seek refuge in the United States," the group said. "They are the youth that we as a society have failed. They are not abducted by strangers or Hollywood elites — they are abandoned by failing and under-resourced systems. There is not a deep state cabal of Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities who traffic children for sex."

In reality, they said, most trafficking victims are vulnerable people who live in under-resourced areas.

In their open letter, the group called for better housing, legal, social, and employment support in areas where people may be vulnerable to trafficking.

They said young people need a robust child welfare system that could help children in need, and survivors need more resources to live a safe life post-trafficking.

"On behalf of an underfunded and nonpartisan field dedicated to ending this horrific form of exploitation and abuse and helping those who have survived it, we urge you to engage real needs rather than politically motivated and profoundly dangerous narratives that harm the very people who they claim to be speaking for — victims, survivors, children, families and vulnerable communities," the group said.

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