(CNN) — Law enforcement authorities have recovered 52 children and arrested 60 pimps allegedly involved in child prostitution, the FBI announced Monday.
More than 690 people in all were arrested on state and local charges, the FBI stated.
The arrests were made over the past three days as part of a nationwide law enforcement initiative conducted on the federal, state and local levels, the bureau said.
“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said in a written statement.
“There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization.”
The three-day operation, tagged Operation Cross Country IV, included enforcement actions in 36 cities across 30 FBI divisions nationwide. It is part of the FBI’s ongoing Innocence Lost National Initiative, which was created in 2003 with the goal of ending sex trafficking of children in the United States.
The initiative, conducted with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has so far resulted in the recovery of almost 900 children, according to the FBI. It has also led to more than 500 convictions.