You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Human Trafficking’ tag.

As the cheery title of the post suggests we can see the one universal maxim that all of humanity can get behind in action – “greed is good”.

“Trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery are big business generating profits estimated at $150 billion a year, the UN labour agency said Tuesday.

The report by the International Labour Organization finds global profits from involuntary workers — an estimated 21 million of them — have more than tripled over the past decade from its estimate of at least $44 billion in 2005.”

So friends, the number of slaves, or those in debt bondage is growing in our world.  I really need the optimistic technology orientated futurists to shut the fuck up about our supposedly rosy future and how supposedly, technology “x” is going to fix things.

“We need to strengthen social protection floors to prevent households from sliding into the poverty that pushes people into forced labour,” he said. “We need to improve levels of education and literacy so that household decision-makers can understand their own vulnerability to forced labour and know their rights as workers.

It says 55 per cent of the victims are women and girls, primarily in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, while men and boys were primarily in forced economic exploitation in agriculture, construction and mining.”

 

Futurism and its variants ply one of the most earnest of human vulnerabilities namely, “hope”.  We can look past all of the evil that is currently being perpetrated against humanity, to gaze on a brighter world where the fundamental inhumanities we face now have been solved and all is peachy-fracking-keen.  What is missing though, is the intermediary steps that get us to said bright rosy future.

We have more than enough resources to properly feed, clothe, and shelter all of humanity.  With poverty reduction and education we might be able to stop one of the drivers in our keen drive toward human extinction – overpopulation.

With regards to population control finally giving women full human being status the world wide would be huge stride toward preserving human civilization, that should go without saying, but again it is the world we live in.

My optimism about our collective future is quite low at the moment.

[Source:cbc.ca]

 

Against human trafficking? Against slavery?  Necessarily, you must also be against pornography.

   Listening to survivors prostitution is important.  Their voices need to be heard.  Jacqueline S. Homan shares her experiences with, as she describes it, the commercial rape industry.

 

“Do you REALLY want the truth from real sex trafficking survivors? Because those of us sex trafficking victims/survivors who HAVE BEEN trying to speak out about how wrong this whole shit show is have NO money to even live on let alone mount a media campaign to protect our interests as we are NOT a $32 billion dollar a year industry—unlike the rapists, pimps and traffickers you seem hell-bent on protecting.

We have NO resources, NOTHING to enable us to protect ourselves when we DO speak out about what was done to us and then we get stalked, harassed, libeled, discredited, and threatened for speaking our truths.

This has happened to EVERY survivor who wants the Nordic model AND solid economic supports for women wanting to exit the commercial rape trade. And as a sex trafficking survivor, that is EXACTLY what prostitution is: COMMERCIAL RAPE.

So let’s be honest, shall we? You people who continue to stand on YOUR privileges (middle/upper class privilege and/or male privilege) to shout survivors down and subvert OUR human rights (yanno, like the right to NOT be pressed into commercial rape) don’t want to hear from the 90% who want out but can’t exit and you damn well don’t want to hear from destitute survivors like me who ARE out and who have had to resort to eating out of garbage cans and sleeping in cars for YEARS after escaping because of NOT being allowed ANY OTHER PLACE IN SOCIETY EXCEPT THE GUTTER AND AN EARLY GRAVE rather than go back to what your side glibly euphemizes as “a job like any other.”

You would prefer us to be PERMANENTLY silenced by being left to DIE from poverty, or DIE at the hands of violent abusive johns (either from deadly incurable STD’s since the majority of johns REFUSE to wear condoms and DELIBERATELY infect their victims, as revealed by Dr. Jay Silverman from Harvard Medical College in his 2007 report published in JAMA) from being economically forced to return to the very same sexual slavery hell we have fought so damn hard to ESCAPE from (often with NO help at all from ANYONE else in society, mind you).

So how about asking the the REAL question here: Whom does the Grail serve?

FACT: Only 15% of men are johns. At least 60% of them are married or are in a long-term relationship. Most are white and from the middle and upper classes. And many of them already have plans in mind to seek out women and girls specifically to TORTURE OR KILL when they seek out prostituted women—as revealed by recent john busts in Ottawa, Canada and also in the state of Virginia in the US where one john seeking a trafficked 14 yr old “for sex” was found to be carrying a loaded gun.

WHY are you more interested in protecting the profits of pimps, brothel owners, traffickers and johns—RAPISTS AND KILLERS—whose money and male privilege entitles them to do this shit with society’s full blessing and support and protection than you are in protecting the human rights of the VICTIMS of the commercial rape trade in the name of supporting women’s autonomy?

Is it because you think it’s perfectly OK to sacrifice an entire class of women and kids (and even young men too) as human shields to bear the brunt of life-threatening poverty due to job discrimination against racialized groups and poor, unvalued women (made worse by the lack of a social safety net thanks to Welfare Reform) and to bear the brunt of male sexual violence and cruelty just so that YOU can continue to unjustly benefit from it?

Or is it because you are really a paid shill for those at the apex of this trade in human flesh and blood and possibly have BLOOD MONEY in your bank account to protect?

Want to hear from some MORE survivors? How many MORE victims of the commercial rape trade do you need to hear from before you decide that OUR claims for some restorative justice and human rights are valid?

I tagged some brother and sister survivors as well as a male anti-trafficking ally. Whether they choose to participate in a convo dominated by johns, pimps and their cheerleaders where they know that they can expect to just get stomped into the ground yet again by those with privilege who don’t give a fuck about us is another matter.

I spoke out. You heard from me, a REAL sex trafficking survivor. If you will NOT listen or give a crap about me and my quest for justice and human rights, or Rebecca Mott’s or Rachel Moran’s or Stella Marr’s, then you won’t give a shit about what the rest of my fellow survivors have to say either. Your side never has. Which is why the Happy Hooker myth and the Pretty Woman Hollywood fantasy continues to dominate the public discourse in this matter at the expense of trafficking victims’ human rights.

There is NOTHING “objective” about this issue. Side 1 believes that a class of women and girls should continue to be set aside to be dehumanized and sacrificed as human shields to bear the brunt of poverty and male sexual violence and entitlement and allowed NO OTHER PLACE in society other than the gutter and an early grave, while Side 2 believes that women are human beings that deserve lives with dignity, to NOT be stripped of basic human rights by being reduced to disposable commodities for the sake of maintaining male privilege.”

Human traffic disproportionately effects females.  People try and fight the growing tide of human trafficking, here is one story of someone making a difference.

Some of the prostitution laws of Canada have been successfully challenged in Ontario.

“An Ontario court has thrown out key provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws in response to a constitutional challenge by a Toronto dominatrix and two prostitutes in 2009.

Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled Tuesday the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution contribute to the danger faced by sex-trade workers.”

Specifically: prohibitions on keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade have all been deemed unconstitutional and need to be replaced or revised by parliament.
 

“The women and their lawyer, Alan Young, held a news conference Tuesday afternoon and expressed elation.  “It’s like emancipation day for sex-trade workers,” said Bedford, adding the ball is now in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s court. “The federal government must now take a stand and clarify what is legal and not legal between consenting adults in private.”

Ah yes, the clear letter of the law scrubbed clean of any of the realities of the world of the sex trade and human trafficking.  Statements like the above seem handcrafted out the dreams of Utopian libertarians, how quickly the privileged point of view obscures the reality for many women for which the highly touted notion CONSENT has never existed.   But, before more doom and gloom more pretty flowers!

“We don’t have to worry about being raped and robbed and murdered,” she said. “This decision means that sex workers can now pick up the phone, and call the police and report a bad client. This means that we no longer have to be afraid, that we can work with the appropriate authorities.”  Moreover, sex workers can set up guilds and associations, health standards, workers’ compensation programs, as well as pay income tax. “We want to be good citizens and it’s time, now we finally can,” said Scott.”

Wow, it is like just totally amazing.  Organize crime and others who exploit women will just disappear from the scene because now the dehumanized, marginalized women won’t have to worry about being raped, robbed and murdered.  They can simply call the police.  Holy Frak Batman, it is just like 911 suddenly became available to sex trade workers now!  All the coercive pressure they experienced before must also magically disappear because wow, you gain power as you further legalize the commodification of your body.  That must be how it works!  Who knew?

Apparently Austrailia, the Netherlands and other jurisdictions that have legalized the sex trade it works a little too well, human trafficking has also increased  in these areas.  It is also a very Canadian problem.  Letting the laws lapse will not help the causes of sex-trade workers or victims of human trafficking.  We need to have laws against the purchase on any sex act and reverse the onus of responsibility when it comes to the legal sharp end of the stick.  The Johns must be made fully responsible for their actions and we should spare no legal expense to go after those who exploit vulnerable women and children.

We in Canada should adopt the Swedish model of prostitution laws which makes the the act of procuring sex illegal, while maintain the act of selling sex to be legal.  The people who work in sex trade are to be treated as victims of sexual exploitation and assault and provided with counselling, housing, and addiction programs to get them out of the egregious cycle of having to sell themselves to others.

What a crazy egalitarian notion this is? Treating all people as human beings instead of commodities?  You have to hand it to the Swedes for leading the way in this area.  We’re still talking about it here in Canada.   At least the Conservatives get some things right this from the National Standing Committee on the Justice and Human Rights 2007:

“Prostitution as a Form of Violence, not Commerce

In contrast, like many witnesses who appeared before the Subcommittee, members from the Conservative Party see prostitution as a degrading and dehumanizing act, often committed and controlled by coercive or opportunistic individuals against victims who are frequently powerless to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation. They believe that the most realistic, compassionate and responsible approach to dealing with prostitution begins by viewing most prostitutes as victims.

Questioning Consent and Harmlessness

Unlike other parties, the Conservatives do not believe it is possible for the state to create isolated conditions in which the consensual provision of sex in exchange for money does not harm others. They believe that all prostitution has a social cost, and that any effort by the state to decriminalize prostitution would impoverish all Canadians — and Canadian women in particular — by signalling that the commodification and invasive exploitation of a woman’s body is acceptable. In their view, such a notion violates the dignity of women and undermines efforts to build a society in which all members are respected equally, regardless of gender. Furthermore, considering that gender-linked social and economic hardships are often what push women into prostitution in the first place, the Conservatives question how often “consent” is truly given out of choice, and not necessity.

These members also feel that because of the negative elements it attracts, prostitution is unacceptable in any location — commercial, industrial or residential, including massage parlours and private homes. They feel it would be unethical for a government to voluntarily degrade or endanger any community by permitting increased prostitute, john and pimp traffic, and subsequently exposing locals to elevated levels of harassment, luring and drug use.”

It is nice when the Conservatives actually get something right, for once.

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