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Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

Sex Trafficking: The effects and solutions to Americas modern day slavery Kayla Sawyer First Colonial High School

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

Abstract This paper is going to address one of Americas growing problems, sex trafficking. The research will define sex trafficking and explain the victims of the problem. It will then relate this problem to the Unites States, and how it affects the government, the citizens and the foreign affairs in other countries. Next it will explain why the demand is increasing through ways of the military, laws and immigration status. Finally, this paper will go into an in depth explanation of how to solve this problem by a combination of different opinions from the United Nations, the government, the military, and from the victims themselves. This paper not only addresses these issues; it takes viewpoints from very different cultures including international ones to produce a solution to fit the needs around the world. Keywords: Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), United Nations (UN)

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

Sex Trafficking: The effects and solutions to Americas modern day slavery One of the largest growing problems in America is sex trafficking; it is one of the 3rd largest criminal organizations in America (Walker-Rodriguez & Hill 2008). As the use of media continues to grow, traffickers find more ways to trap victims into becoming prostitutes to help with the growing demand. There are not enough studies being done because the shape of this crime is constantly changing with inventive new ways to get past the barriers. To understand the extent of this problem and its range one must view different sources with different perspectives on the issue of sex trafficking. The sources examined in this paper are both international and comparative because said research has proven effective for other countries and can lead to a solution for Americas problem. This paper combines the research from the military and the law and the United Nations because they all have different opinions on the solution and only focus on their direct influence to the problem. This paper addresses how all of these contribute to the problem and lists several solutions. Combining all of these problems helps fully grasp this issue through defining it, realizing where the problems occur and what can be done to prevent and deter sex trafficking in America today. Laws are being made and the some action is being taken against the traffickers and government contractors along with raising awareness in the community, but it is not enough because they are not being enforced and there are still ways we can continue to prevent this social issue.

Discussion

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

Sex Trafficking Defined Sex trafficking is Americas modern day slavery and has affected the lives of several Americans because it is the one of the most unspoken about crimes. Trafficking is a global issue that takes root in almost every culture (Goodson 2005). It is relevant in this country whether we want to believe it or not. Traffickers are conniving and convincing for victims in poor areas wanting a new life. Somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked each year (Parsons 2006).The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines trafficking as, A commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age (U.S Department of Health and Human Services 2011). Victims become a part of this crime ring because of several reasons, they ran away; their parents sold them into it, or they want a new life etc. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, around 80% of victims trafficked are females (2011). Traits of victims include poverty, young age, limited education, lack of work opportunities, lack of family support, history of pervious sexual abuse, health or mental health challenges, and living in vulnerable areas (U.S Department of Health and Human Services 2011). It is very easy for vulnerable girls to fall subject to these vicious crimes, especially since they are targeted at such a young age making it very hard for these young, naive girls to make decisions. With the rapid growth of media in the world, traffickers are finding more inventive ways to take advantage of situations. They are using social media sites like Facebook to get these girls to fall in love with them and then meet up with them. Many young Indonesians and their parents are unaware of

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

the dangers of allowing strangers to see their personal information online (Mason 2012). It is a relevant problem, and we need to be more aware of their tactics and how they can con people into such a harmful life. Traffickers do extremely well because they make the victim so intimidated that they feel as they must stay even when given the opportunity to escape. Some victims run back to their trafficker even after escaping. The ones that do escape will not testify in court which makes this business so easy to get away with. Traffickers use force, drugs, emotional tactics, and financial methods. Some use the lack of male presence to cause an attachment by making the girls call him, Daddy or even promise marriage (Walker-Rodriguez & Hill 2011). There are several ways the traffickers use the girls against each other to keep the group In-line and behaving correctly, usually by using the most senior girl because she has developed the trust needed to run the business side for the traffickers. The bottom is on top of the hierarchy of prostitutes, this girl collects the money, disciplines the girls, and seduces new youth into trafficking (WalkerRodriguez & Hill 2011). Trafficking is highly beneficial to these criminals because it is a very degrading crime that emotionally and physically scares these girls; they will not speak out which is how they continue to get away with it. The estimated global annual profits made from human trafficking were $31.6 billion USD as of 2005 (Weiss 2012). Sex Trafficking in the Unites States One of the biggest problems with the spread of sex trafficking is that people are unaware of the involvement within the country. The only time it is advertised is when it deals with another country and their struggle with it. Since it is such an unseen crime, it is running

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

ramped in the country more than anyone could anticipate because of the lack of news coverage. Since 2001, the U.S Department of Justice has only prosecuted 360 defendants in human trafficking cases and secured 238 convictions (U.S Department of Health and Human Services 2011). It has been clear that tracking human trafficking is nearly impossible considering all of the variable, such as victims that are not being reported, runaway victims etc. One of the hardest things with sex trafficking is trying to prosecute them because there is not enough evidence, there is a lack of resources and man power, witnesses are fearful, and there are variations in police practice across the areas (Hughes 2005). More and more court cases are appearing with the average punishment around 25 years (Walker-Rodriguez & Hill 2008). One of our biggest issues is that the punishment does not fit the crime, so traffickers arent scared to keep committing the crime for such a small punishment. Out of several cases listed in the Unites States Department of Justice website, only 1 resulted in life in prison, and the max was 50 years, the minimum punishment for sex slavery was 5 months in 2011. The fact that the lowest punishment is 5 months is ridiculous, there needs to be a cap for this crime! Sex trafficking is known for its low risk, high profit criminal enterprise. When traffickers are caught, the penalties are relatively low compared to the amount of profit made and the harm done to the victim (Hughes 2005). Since traffickers realized they can get away with the crimes they have expanded from within the country to overseas working with brothels and other sex industrialized businesses to illegally traffic women for the increasing demand.

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

The problem had finally hit home when government agents realized that they were targeting younger victims. The United States not only faces an Influx of international victims but also has its own homegrown problem of interstate sex trafficking of minors (WalkerRodriguez & Hill 2008). Girls are being taken from their home at such a young age now because virgins are a huge commodity in foreign countries because they do not carry STDs and are supposed to make a man pure again. So, not only is this problem growing but the stakes of the age group are growing as well. As the demand for virgins increase, so does the demand for younger girls. Another problem is the way the 3 tier system is set up to help all countries facing trafficking problems. The country on the lowest tier receives the most assistance and the financial assistance come from the United States. The first tier is for countries that have few trafficking problems. The second tier is for countries where the government has not met the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and is put on a governmental watch list. The third tier is for countries that do not meet the minimum standards and do not make any effort to comply. These countries are subject to economic sanctions and the possibility of U.S. opposition to financial assistance from international institutions (Weiss 2012). The government should not limit its assistance to the worst country; all countries should be forced to comply with the standards that are set up and should receive the same amount of assistance with funding for programs and other resources to prevent this problem because a countrys demand can go up at anytime.

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

The increasing demand To begin to solve this you must look at the number one problem, the demand, and why it increases. The research done for this paper proves that immigration policies and government contribution to human trafficking play a huge role in increasing demand for sex trafficking in a country. The Unites States has consistently allowed and, in some cases, even implicitly encourages the development of brothels near military bases to satisfy the sexual desires of Americans serving there (Parsons 2006). For example, Ben Johnston testified against DynCorp a U.S contracting company about their employees participating in sex acts with trafficked girls and yet, DynCorp remains in good standing and in 2003 was given an award for their work (Melzer 2005). The military role in human trafficking has been the most appalling because when they are sent overseas to prevent and stop these types of problem, they not only contribute to the use of these prostitutes but they increase the demand which endangers more lives of helpless victims. By spending more money on prostitutes, the servicemen are helping to finance the criminal elements they are supposed to be stopping (Parsons 2006). The host countries of these military men need to crack down on these brothels and not support the prostitution by the military if they are there for the sole purpose to prevent and deter sex trafficking. We also need to hold our military accountable, because if they arent held accountable then who will be accountable because they are supposed to represent our country and what we stand for. ..As long as U.S Military bases are creating a strong demand for prostitution and trafficked women, organized crime will find a way to meet that demand (Parsons 2006).

Sex trafficking, Modern Day Slavery

Other than the men, there are the exploiters and the state and the culture that also contribute to the demand. The exploiters or the traffickers increase the demand by making sex trafficking a profitable business and their profiteers which are the people that host the sex trafficking like brothels, bars, hotels, restaurants and so forth. If we made stricter laws to make sure that these businesses were harboring victims then we could cut down on the trafficking at least in these public venues. Also the state contributes to the increase in demand for sex trafficking, when prostitution is legal the government collects tax revenue from it, but when its illegal, criminals organize crime groups and corrupt public officials (Hughes 2005.) Another thing that contributes is our culture; we have come to except prostitution as a form of work or a job for citizens and have failed to recognize all the crime connected to the job. The last major thing that increases the demand is the immigration policies the Unites States has. By making visas so prohibitively difficult, Western governments ensure that Ukrainians, along with migrants from other countries can get into the U.S through sex trafficking or prostitution. Everyone knows that work is available and potentially profitable (Hyde 2004). Deterrence Although these issues are prevalent, there are some actions being taken that are slowly impacting our nation. If we keep these up and continue to find new ways to crack down on sex trafficking we can decrease the demand and save lives of victims around the world. The first and most important way we have changed the government to help this problem is by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The TVPAs enactment in 2000 was groundbreaking because no prior comprehensive federal law protects victims or prosecuted traffickers (Weiss

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2012). The TVPA defines trafficking under all conditions and then lists what you have to do to be considered a victim and a trafficker. One of the most important things that the TVPA does is it enforces punishment of traffickers, it states that for whom the violation results in death of the victim or includes kidnapping or attempt to kidnap will be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life or both (Trafficking 2008). The only thing we could possibly do to make this better is put a minimum sentence or a cap on the punishments all convicted traffickers will receive. Another way we have improved our punishment for trafficking is by enforcing the rules on the military by way of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. From 1999-2001 an investigation of human rights went on in Bosnia and Herzegovina and found that members of the United Nations International Police Task Force engaged in trafficking activities themselves. The only sanctions U.N. officials could bring against them were removal from service and repatriation. There were at least eight cases of U.S. Contractors who allegedly purchased trafficked women and none faced any criminal penalties when they returned to the United States (Parsons 2006). This new law states that even military contractors and government officials along with servicemen are subject to the rules listed in the constitution and if they commit an offense that is punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, they will be sent back to the United States and punished (Military 2000). The United Nations has realized this problem and has come up with their own national initiative to solve the problem. Theyre key objectives are the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims. To address prevention, the UN has formed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and 119 parties have agreed/signed to help prevent and punish trafficking(King 2008). Also to raise awareness and

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help prevention, the United Nations has 2 programs that are really geared towards raising awareness to local communities. One is the start freedom to raise awareness in young people and the other is called Active Communities against Trafficking (ACT) which aims to bring the community together to fight trafficking (United Nations Chronicle 2012). To address prosecution, the new laws that are coming out have helped enforce trafficking within the United States and have also helped prosecute more traffickers. Some authors interviewed attorneys that prosecute traffickers to find out and help other attorneys with problems that they might run across when trying to convict someone. Problems that could occur are that you have an uncooperative victim, its a lengthy process, there is a lack of knowledge ab out this issue within the courts and law enforcement, and there is a lack of funding (Clawson, Dutch, Lopez, and Tiapula 2008). Knowing this information, we can at least work harder to make more resources available and a stronger awareness in the legal community. The U.N. suggests that the best ways to stop trafficking is to raise awareness, strengthen prevention, reduce demand, and improve law enforcement (Migiro 2011). Although some argue that the U.N. lengthens the duration of conflict, it is clearly making strong efforts to stop trafficking and so far all weve seen is progress (Smith and Smith 2010).

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Conclusion With the way the nations are handling this problem it is clear that we have taken the necessary steps to stop trafficking. The United Nations has joined nations together to address this problem on a global level, the military has made a law to address the contractors and personnel on the military and government level, and our country has made laws to address this problem locally in our own states. Prevention, Prosecution and Protection is the key to the success of stopping sex trafficking all together and there are ways we are aware of to do every one of those things. The only thing left to do is to enforce the rules we have made, stricken the punishment for traffickers and raise awareness of the seriousness of Sex trafficking and the toll it has on a community. Sex trafficking has become such a huge issue for the United States and even globally, but we can surely resolve it like we have with any other problem. We have to fight sex trafficking because we cant let slavery define who we are as a country today! No leader should turn a blind eye to this criminal endeavor.

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Bibliography Congressional Record, Vol. 154 (2008): Dec. 10 Public Law 110-457. William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 Clawson, H.J., & Dutch, N., & Lopez, S., & Tiapula, S. (2008). Prosecuting Human Trafficking Cases: Lessons Learned and Promising Practices. Criminal Section Selected Case Summaries. The United States Department of Defense. DOI: 12/5/12 Http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/selcases.php. Hughes, D. (June 2005). The demands for victims of sex trafficking. Womens Studies Program. University of Rhode Island. Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson. Hyde, Lily. "Strict Immigration Policies Promote Sex Trafficking." Prostitution and Sex Trafficking. Ed. Louise Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Green Light, Red Light." New Internationalist (Dec. 2004). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2012. King, L. (May 2008). International Law and Human Trafficking. Topical research digest: human rights and human trafficking. pg. 88-103 Mason, M. (2012, October 30). Facebook used to Kidnap, enslave Indonesian girls. The Virginian-Pilot. P.3

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Melzer, Eartha. "U.S. Policies Promote Sex Trafficking." Prostitution and Sex Trafficking. Ed. Louise Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Trafficking in Politics." In These Times (14 Mar. 2005). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2012. Migiro, A. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. Pg. 1-10 Parsons, B. (2006). Current Efforts by the United States to Combat Sexual Trafficking near Military Bases. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights. 4(3), 567-589. Public Law 106-523. (November 22, 2000). Military extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000. Smith, H. M. and Smith, C. A. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Unintended Effects of United Nations Intervention. International Political Science Review. 1-21. doi:10.1177/01925121103711240 UN Chronicle- Preventions, Prosecution, and Protection- Human Trafficking. (2012, December 8). Retrieved from http://www.un.org/ U.S Department of Helath and Human Services. (2011). Human Trafficking into and within the United States: A review of the Literature. Office of the assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Walker-Rodriguez, A. & Hill, R. (March 2011). FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Human Sex Trafficking. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/

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Weiss, A. (2012). Ten Years of fighting Trafficking: Critiquing the Trafficking in Persons Report through the Case of South Korea. Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal.