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Tag Archives: sex trafficking

My Words as Weapons: Stripping the Soul’s Self Worth

We’re seeing more of a focus these days on “Fair Trade” items, which is great because it shows the awareness for modern slavery and gives consumers a chance to make a conscious decision to buy items they know were not produced through slavery or sweatshop conditions. Certainly, slavery in any form is a terrible injustice and must be stopped.

Now, I’m not sure why this is a debate, but in my reading and web surfing I have found that some people are actually angry that, in some cases, the flesh trade, or sex trafficking, often gets more attention than slavery which forces manual labor.  First of all, I don’t know that this is true.  I think more people know about the evils of sweatshops and the like than actually realize that people’s bodies are being sold for sex, not by their own choices. But even with that aside, I personally feel there are more layers of terror to sex trafficking; it peels away the soul, one john at a time. There is even more of a loss of self-worth and dignity in the chasm that is the flesh trade.  There’s a vulnerability in sex, and these are people who are forced to do it several times a day and night, for little to no money at all.  And for many, it starts when they are still children, sought out to be tricked and kidnapped into this vile life. Innocence is lost.

But why would people fighting for human rights even worry about getting caught up in which type of slavery is worse?  Owning human beings is wrong, no matter what they are used for.  It all needs to stop. There is a 1:9 ratio of the sex trafficked to those forced into manual labor, so I suppose it seems the percentage of those caught in the flesh trade is small in the grand scheme of human trafficking, but it is all wrong. Here’s a link to an interesting fact sheet from the Polaris Project to help put it into perspective.

Don’t just fight for one type of slave versus the other.  Fight for all the estimated 27 million people who have been robbed of their freedom.

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My Words as Weapons: The Johns

There is a book that has sat on my shelf for over a year now that I just haven’t been able to open up to read.  I want to, and I did finally get through the intro recently, but I know it will make me angry and disgusted.  However, I feel it’s an important book to read in order to understand what is really behind the sex trafficking trade.

Victor Malarek, an investigative journalist, takes a stand to blame men for prostitution, a fresh perspective.  One sentence from the book jacket reads:

Ranging worldwide, from the United States to Europe, and from Costa Rica to Thailand, Cambodia, Ukraine, he dispels the myths that justify prostitution and puts on display the rationales of ordinary johns, their beliefs, their behaviors, and their astounding brotherhood.

I am intrigued, and I hope some of this insight might be useful in developing a plan and education to slow down and end human trafficking.

I also found a great interview with the author, under ten minutes.

I am vowing to put more effort into reading this and will report more as I read and when I finish. Time to get started.

My Words as Weapons: Super Bowl Trafficking

The Super Bowl has become an event far beyond the financial means of most people.  Only those with an overabundance of disposable income can afford to go to such an event, and because the audience is made up of such privileged people, many believing themselves to be far more important and untouchable than others, because alcohol consumption will be increased, and because the majority of Super Bowl attendees are men, sex trafficking will spike for the weekend as more and more young women, many underage, will be forced to give their bodies over and over again for the profit of others.

Here’s a creepy little tidbit for you:

“Dallas police and federal authorities arrested 133 minors for prostitution during the 2011 Super Bowl, and according to Forbes Magazine 10,000 prostitutes were transported to Miami for the Super Bowl in 2010.” –Michael Reagan’s “The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking” from townhall.com

The numbers here are astounding, and I have to admit I’m almost equally outraged that so many prostitutes were arrested while their pimps and the johns seem to go untouched.  Those are the true criminals.

I’m thrilled to see news and training spread to create awareness of this atrocity.  How sad it is that we must anticipate more sales of humans for sexual pleasures than usual whenever and wherever big sporting events take place.  Consider this when you watch the Olympics in Russia in a few weeks (since the USSR broke apart sex trafficking victims have largely come from this area of the world anyway) or the World Cup in Brazil this summer.  At least each of those events only happen every four years (well, every two if we count summer and winter Olympics), while the Super Bowl is an annual spike for the trafficking industry.  It also pleases me that so many organizations prepare well in advance for these events, spreading awareness and training law enforcement officials and those in the travel industry, equipping them with the knowledge of how they can help save these exploited individuals.

I thought this was a great little segment to share:

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/sex-trafficking-spike-looms-super-bowls-shadow-22258289