“There is no “war on trafficking” or any similar culture of crime and punishment for selling a 12-year-old girl for sex. Perversely, it is the girls — not the men — who suffer from criminalization.” via U.S. should stop criminalizing sex trafficking victims – CNN.com.

I’ve been saying this for several years. We MUST, as a nation, raise our voices and let our government know that the fight against sex trafficking should NOT be against the children forced into sexual slavery by their traffickers. Instead, we should be enforcing stronger penalties on the buyers, who are rarely arrested or prosecuted for their actions.

Child runaways who are tricked or forced by “pimps” into a life of prostitution should not be treated as criminals. Why is it the girls who are held by police after a raid on a hotel room and not the men buying them?It is the girl, repeatedly raped by grown men, who is shackled and put behind bars. Rarely are these girls perceived as victims.”

This has to change.

Child Sex Trafficking – We’re Punishing The Wrong People

Tagged , , ,

Stop Child Slavery Year In Review

These are the posts and pages on StopChildSlavery.com that got the most views in 2010.

1

Human Trafficking of Children in the United States Fact Sheet January 2010
8 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Two Little Girls – An Animated Story About Sex Trafficking March 2010
5 comments

3

Somaly Mam: Rescuing Sex Slaves July 2007
22 comments

4

Child Prostitution: Three Stories April 2007
4 comments

5

Pornography, Prostitution And Child Sex Trafficking: An Interview with Patrick A. Trueman July 2009
28 comments

Tagged , ,

Cops Arresting Trafficking Victims?

 

As a society, we have to begin to label crimes accurately. Is a teen who is reported missing by her family, kidnapped and forced to work in an underground brother guilty of prostitution or a victim of human trafficking? Both can’t be true.

Children forced into sexual service are not being held by “pimps.” Pimp is a word that has lost it’s negative power. These children are being held by slave traders. This problem might be treated differently if we can change the words we use to describe it.

“As if ignoring all those red flags wasnt bad enough, the LAPD actually arrested a 17-year-old girl, who by virtue of her age is automatically a trafficking victim. The girl had even been reported missing by her family. Yet somehow, it didnt occur to the LAPD  that if one trafficking victim was kidnapped and forced to work at Club 907, perhaps others were as well.”  via Change.org.

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Ohio Passes Human Trafficking Legislation

I wrote back in 2008, that Ohio has no human trafficking law. On Decebmber 23, 2010, over two years later, Ohio finally passed  legislation that makes human trafficking a felony in that state.

Toledo, Ohio, is the third-largest city for human trafficking and sexual slavery in the United States; just recently a Somalian sex trafficking ring was busted in Columbus. The Buckeye State is known for football, chili, and the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. It now finds itself among the several states in America that have been confronted with the horror of human trafficking.

via Human Trafficking: A Billion-Dollar Industry – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com.

 

Tagged , ,

884 Arrested In Child Prostitution Rings

Seattle, Tacoma, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Nashville… There is no corner of our society where this is not a problem. Fool yourself if you’d like, but Child Prostitution, or as I prefer to call it, Child Sex Slavery, is an epidemic.

“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,” said Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, in a written statement. “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization. Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.”  via Federal crackdown on child prostitution results in 884 arrests – CNN.com.

Tagged , , ,

Will Lawrence Taylor Become The Poster Boy For Child Sex Slavery?

Lawrence Taylor, the NFL Hall of Fame linebacker and recent Dancing With The Stars contestant, is now a high profile illustration of the buy side of the supply and demand equation that fuels child sex trafficking.

I’m no longer surprised when I read a story like the one accompanying Lawrence Taylor’s arrest. It’s a pretty typical American child sex trafficking story. A 15-year-old girl from the Bronx is reported missing to the police in March, only to be found beaten and bruised, physically and emotionally, imprisoned by fear and force, and serving her master by having sex with men of his choosing. No one appears to be denying the truth of this part of the story. It’s just another child sex slave. Except the press would rather call her a prostitute and her master a pimp. And many would argue that she wasn’t really “enslaved.” She chose to go with the man in the first place. That makes it all easier to swallow.

It’s also not surprising that such a prominent name is implicated. I’ve been writing about this issue for several years now.  The sheer volume of children being held captive as sex slaves made the participation of prominent public figures a certainty. So the allegations against Lawrence Taylor only serve to further illustrate just how pervasive the problem of child sex trafficking is in the United States. If the allegations against him are false, it won’t change that fact.

What would surprise me?

I’ll be surprised if this story doesn’t quickly fade from the front pages. He may be innocent. If he is, it should. But if he’s not, I’ll be surprised if it actually  serves as a lightning rod for changes in legislation that make it easier for authorities to prosecute those involved in the enslavement of children for sex.

Why? Because vast numbers of the American population view slavery as American history. It’s simply more comfortable to think of these girls as prostitutes and not slaves. And we’ve popularized the use of the word “pimp” to such a degree that it is more likely to be seen in the positive than the negative. There are already YouTube parodies that make light of the incident. We like it that way. It helps us sleep at night.

Will Lawrence Taylor become the poster boy for child sex slavery? I doubt it.

Tagged , , ,

Teen Fights Child Slavery With Graphic Design

I’m moved by the initiative of one very talented young man. John Mark Herskind is a 17-year old from Irmo, South Carolina, and he’s taking action to make a difference in the fight against child slavery. His group,  Designers Against Child Slavery,  “calls on designers and artists world wide to unite their talents and create art packs.These art packs will be used to raise awareness as well as money for children in Southeast Asia.”
And his actions have attracted artists and graphic designers from all over the world to donate their art to raise awareness.
He’s also teamed up with The Blind Project which is a group devoted to exposing the sex trade. Through the connections he’s made, John Mark is putting together an art exhibition in Columbia which will feature work from world renowned graphic designers. – WLTX.com
If you’re a graphic designer, please take a moment to go check out his group to see if you can help.
Tagged , , ,