The War on Trafficking

Will California's crackdown do more harm than good?

By Rebecca Burns

An overwhelming majority of Californians voted for Proposition 35, the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act,” this November, swayed by gripping campaign imagery: a teenage girl tricked and kidnapped by a powerful pimp, then forced to provide sexual services to multiple men. Yet many anti-trafficking [RETURN TO ARTICLE]

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    In 2008 Kajsa Wahlberg, of the human trafficking unit at Sweden’s national police board, conceded that accurate statistics are hard to obtain, but estimated that the number of prostitutes in Sweden dropped 40% from 2,500 in 1998 to 1,500 in 2003. However by 2010 she had conceded that the policy had failed, and that issues around prostitution were increasing as noted in the media which carried out surveys on the street. In Stockholm police sources reported increased activity on Malmskillnadsgatan in the city centre (which with Artillerigatanin the Östermalm district was a traditional site for street prostitution inStockholm). Judges and senior police officials have been caught purchasing sex, while most recently Sven Otto Littorin, the Minister of Labour Sven Otto Littorin was also accused of purchasing sex (Littoringate)

    Posted by malcolmkyle on Dec 24, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Police can be good or bad for sure, but it’s a fact that they’re often the first responders when a pimp is publicly beating a girl or fighting with another pimp for profitable “red light” turf. A social policy that treats all police as the enemies of all commercial rape victims might play well with ideological anarchists, but it ignores the reality that citizens who see evidence of human trafficking will call
    the police first.

    More women police handling sex trafficking would be an excellent long-term strategy for ensuring less police abuse of prostitution’s victims, but in the meantime laws like Prop 35 and more education for police and citizens alike in recognizing and responding progressively are exactly what’s needed.

    Posted by antipropagandamachine on Dec 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    “When the first comprehensive federal anti-trafficking legislation was passed in 2000, all youth under 18 involved in the sex trade were reclassified as trafficking victims. This marked the beginning of the focus on youth trading sex—but it hasn’t prevented them from being arrested for prostitution. Why?”

    The answer to this question is that federal and state anti trafficking efforts are completely focused and funded towards prostitution sting operations as the sole means to identify ‘victims of trafficking’.  Police and prosecutors alike use the prostitution arrest and subsequent prosecution for prostitution as the means to create victims to save.

    Posted by Maxine Doogan on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    How, then, might we better protect the human rights of sex workers and trafficking victims? 

    The answer to this question lies in the history of ending slavery of black people in this country.  Black leaders have long said that the emancipation of the slaves proclamation that went into effect January 1, 1863 didn’t end labor exploitation of black people.  Black leaders have said that passing of the civil rights act of 1964 is what finally ended the exploitive conditions.  So if we’d like to learn from history, we’d put our energies towards enacting similar anti discrimination laws in regards to housing, employment, education, child custody..for our class of workers and gaining equal protection under the law.  History doesn’t show that making it illegal to hire a black laborer as a viable means to end labor exploitation of black people.  Learn from history.

    Posted by Maxine Doogan on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    FYI-Ken has no authority to put forward a plan to criminalize our customers without our permission.  By doing so, he positions himself as the master of our economy and we reject that.  He, like the other anti prostitutionist who hide behind the anti trafficking rhetoric, need to start treating those of us who are the actual occupants of the sex industry with dignity and respect instead of the daddy advisor we never asked for.  Additionally, the author would have done well to insist on actual scientific evidence to back up any claims instead of being a repeater of Ken’s false and misleading statements.  Including his statement about the fake research violates your credibility with your audience.

    Posted by Maxine Doogan on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:08 AM…

    Posted by Maxine Doogan on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:50 AM