The FBI says it has rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution in the United States and arrested 150 people it described as pimps and others in a series of raids in 76 American cities.
The campaign, known as “Operation Cross Country,” was the largest of its type and conducted under the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” initiative.
The assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, Ron Hosko, said that child prostitution remains what he called a “persistent threat” to children across America.
Most of the freed youths are young teenagers aged 13 to 16, Mr Hosko said.
“Our goal is that child trafficking is openly discussed,” he told reporters.
“We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it… to put them (the children) out of the cycle.”
The FBI said the campaign has resulted in rescuing 2700 children since 2003.