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How International Troops Fuel the Demand for Sex Trafficking in Foreign Nations and Contribute to Organized Crime
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters of the Arts in International Studies
Department of Politics University of Sheffield September 11, 2012
Intro Chapter 1: What is sex trafficking and how does it work Chapter 2: The U.S. Military and South Korea Chapter 3: The U.N. Peacekeepers and Bosnia-Herzegovina Chapter 4: Analysis and Conclusion 3 5 12 21 30
Introduction The question this dissertation will set out to answer is what role international troops play in the proliferation of sex trafficking within the foreign countries they are stationed. Sex trafficking is a grave violation of human rights and individual security as it involves the enslavement of a person who may be forced into prostitution, systematically raped or exposed to other forms of sexual abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2012; U.N. 2012). While sex trafficking is an individual security issue, this subject is also of special importance due to the fact that it is a major financial industry that funds other types of criminal activity including drugs and arms trafficking. The monetary gains that criminal networks receive only make them more powerful and their activities more prevalent. This serves to destabilize the region they operate out of. Therefore, when international troops are in these regions and patronize prostitutes that are actually trafficking victims — they contribute to organized crime. This is especially disturbing when the mission or goal of the troops is to stabilize the region. As globalization continues to occur there needs to be more awareness on how international efforts may create a bigger problem than a solution. The primary focus of this dissertation will be to analyze what role foreign troops play in sex trafficking by comparing two case studies: The U.S. military in South Korea and the U.N. peacekeepers in BosniaHerzegovina. These examples will be used as exploratory case studies that will provide a detailed insight into how the cycle of troops and trafficking creates a larger security threat on both a regional and worldwide scale (Yin 2003,pp.3). In analyzing these examples, this paper will demonstrate the limitations that global organizations (such as the U.N.) currently face in being able to hold their personnel judicially responsible for any involvement in human trafficking — as opposed to a single nation’s forces (the U.S. armed forces). The first chapter of this dissertation will provide background information on human trafficking — specifically sex trafficking of women. This will show how human trafficking is linked to other organized criminal activity and what conditions are usually in place for trafficking to occur. One of these conditions will be the need for demand, which in many cases are foreign troops. There is a long history of brothels and sexual servitude cropping up around military camps. This trend continues today with not just militaries but peacekeepers. The second chapter of this dissertation will review the case of the U.S. military and commercial sex industry in South Korea. The brothels that many of the U.S. soldiers frequented had forced trafficked women into prostitution. This example will show how imperative the U.S. soldiers were to the demand of the commercial sex industry and how
the South Korean government promoted this cycle. After the U.S. military could not afford to ignore the issue any longer — both the military and U.S. Congress passed policies that issued a “zero tolerance” stance over troops soliciting sexual services anywhere in the world. The third chapter will explore a second case study that will review the incident of U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the war in former Yugoslavia, a large number of U.N. personnel were involved in sex trafficking. While it took time for superiors at the U.N. to acknowledge what was going on, there was little that could be done judicially due to immunity that all U.N. peacekeepers enjoy. The fourth and final chapter of this dissertation will provide a comparative study of the U.S forces in South Korea and the U.N. troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This analysis will look at the how the domestic system of the U.S. military has thoroughly implemented their zero tolerance policy; whereas the international organization of the U.N. has made implementation slow and sometimes non-existent. The aspects of implementation that will be evaluated will be jurisdictional accountability and educational/awareness. By portraying both the educational and jurisdictional strengths of the U.S. and the shortcomings of the U.N., this dissertation will provide recommendations on how the U.N. can improve in both areas. In conclusion, this dissertation will illustrate that it is crucial for the U.N. to bring about quick action in instigating reforms for their troops. Allegations of sex trafficking in U.N. missions will only continue to undermine their credibility in the international community. If troops are viewed as doing more harm than good, then areas that may be in need of aid or assistance could be less likely to call upon international forces if they are viewed as more trouble than they’re worth. Even more importantly, the fact that troops fund trafficking through their purchase of sexual services means that they may be funding other criminal ventures in the region and abroad. This directly goes against their mission goal and only continues to undermine their credibility.
Chapter 1: What is sex trafficking and how does it work? Human trafficking is defined by the U.N. (U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime [hereafter UNODC] 2004,pp.42). as: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. The definition goes on to specify the types of exploits which traffickers utilize victims for “…the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs” (UNODC 2004,pp.42). Sex trafficking is a form of sexual slavery which involves an array of sexual services that range from forced prostitution in brothels, bars, strip clubs and “other sex-related entertainment industries” (M. Lee, 2011;pp.38). Every year, it is estimated that 700,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders with 80 percent of the victims being female and 50 percent of them being minors (U.S. Department of State [hereafter USDOS] 2004). Sex trafficking is a particularly heinous form of human trafficking as there is often a dominant theme of violence against women. This includes victims being exposed to various forms of abuse, including rape by both clients and the traffickers themselves (M. Lee, 2011; pp.62). Rape is often used as a tool by traffickers to “break down the resistance” of their victims (Mendelson 2001, pp.9). It is important to establish that prostitution is not the same as sex trafficking. As mentioned in the above definition, victims are forced into performing sexual services by use of violence or other threats. Prostitution as a definition on its own is simply defined as “the act of offering one’s self for hire to engage in sexual relations” (legal-dictionary.com 2005). While prostitution is forced upon many trafficked victims — the research conducted for this paper has found an impression in the anecdotal evidence, used by many scholarly sources, that individuals who witnessed or engaged in human trafficking assumed that the prostitutes were there of their own free will. As will be discussed later in the case studies, this assumption has promoted a norm for international troops that it is acceptable to visit brothels overseas and unknowingly support sex trafficking (Mendelson 2005, pp.30). For the purposes of this dissertation, sex trafficking of women will be the specific type of trafficking explored.
Literature Review The point of this dissertation is to illustrate how international forces have created a demand for human trafficking overseas and therefore help fund other criminal activities in the nations they are supposed to be aiding. While human trafficking is a major subject within mainstream academic literature — there are few publications that pay much heed to how sex trafficking is run by criminal organizations and fuels other illicit activities. There are numerous articles that discuss the links between sex trafficking and military troops. However, few publications take the issue further to thoroughly explore the organizations responsible for the trafficking and where the money from it is going. The limited amount of publications which thoroughly discuss the criminal connection to sex trafficking are from research organizations. The most notable is Barracks and Brothels: Peacekeepers and Human Trafficking in the Balkans from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which was cited in many of the publications found for this dissertation (Mendelson 2005). This report utilizes anecdotal evidence from personnel in Bosnia as well as the opinions of U.S. military and U.N. workers on the issue of trafficking (Mendelson 2005). The only other two pieces of literature which provided an overall picture of sex trafficking and the criminal element was a journal article by Keith J. Allred that was posted in Armed Forces & Society and the news expose by William McMichael, whose story broke the news of U.S. forces patronizing trafficking victims in South Korea (Allred 2006; McMichael 2002a; McMichael 2002b). While resources connecting the criminal aspect of sex trafficking and international troops were scarce, there were plenty of articles detailing how military troops have a history of creating a demand for prostitution and how in the last twenty years this demand has been met with trafficked women, especially in the case of the U.S. military and South Korea (Hughes Chon & Ellerman 2007; McMichael 2002a; Ishikane 2007). These examples provided a backdrop for a noted theme found among the research which demonstrated that authors would use the terms “prostitution” or “prostitutes” when describing trafficking victims (Carraway 2006,pp.311). While prostitution is indeed a result of sex trafficking, the authors use the same term to describe forced prostitution and individuals who have no other choice but to prostitute themselves due to economic need (Carraway 2006, pp. 311). This overlap in definition and terms found within the literature (works by Jennings & NikolićRistanovic 2009; de la Vega & HaleyNelson 2006) mirrors the attitudes of many U.S. and U.N. personnel who thought the “prostitutes” were there because they chose to be rather than because they were forced to be. Due to the fact that the majority of research used these
terms intermittently — the word usage for this dissertation will abide by the same trend. However, unless clearly stated, forms of “prostitution” used within this dissertation are referring exclusively to sex trafficking as this is the primary topic. Many of the cases found for this dissertation that discussed the demand international troops create for sex trafficking were on the U.S. armed forces in South Korea — however there were also many publications that discussed the U.N. peacekeepers in BosniaHerzegovina. The issue of international troops creating a market for sexual slavery is one that has only begun to be addressed in the last twelve years because of these two isolated incidents. In the case of the U.N. — after Bosnia-Herzegovina more accusations of peacekeepers committing sexual exploitation, including trafficking, have come out of other missions (48South7th 2012; Lillia Diu 2012; Hoge 2005). Essentially, The U.S. in South Korea and the U.N. in Bosnia-Herzegovina were selected as case studies because of the precedence both situations set for foreign policy regarding sex trafficking. It is also due to this precedence that the U.S. and the U.N. have been active in creating policies to combat sex trafficking in areas where their respective troops are stationed. Due to these numerous policies, the majority of publications used for this dissertation, concerning measures taken, have been official documents from various branches of both the U.N. and the U.S. While these sources have been extremely helpful in providing proof of policies within both respective organizations against sex trafficking — they didn't always illustrate if these policies had been implemented. The U.N., for example, has passed numerous resolutions concerning sexual exploitation and abuse by their peacekeepers which involve more training or more responsibility by troop contributing countries to prosecute these peacekeepers (U.N. Secretariat 2003; U.N. Security Council 2000). Often it appeared there were numerous resolutions that stated the same thing, yet there was no documentation to illustrate if the policy had been successfully carried out. This was in contrast with the U.S. military, where it was easy to find differentiating policies for sex trafficking within their troops as well as websites which informed soldiers to sign up for their mandatory trafficking training courses (U.S. Forces Korea 2012a; U.S. Forces Korea 2008). These reports have given a definitive idea of policies in place against the issue of trafficking. But, they have not provided evidence that these implemented policies are working. This is likely due to the fact that these policies have not been implemented for very long and it is too soon to tell if they are effective.
This dissertation will fill the gap within the academic literature for how international troops create a demand for sex trafficking that fuels organized crime and ultimately undermines the success of the force’s mission. It emphasizes how, via sex trafficking, foreign currency goes into fueling transnational criminal organizations and creating more security issues. Additionally, this dissertation thoroughly explains how sex trafficking victims are “recruited” in an effort to show that trafficking is not willing prostitution, but sexual slavery. Lastly, by exploring the respective “zero-tolerance” policies of the U.S. and the U.N. — this dissertation will be able to draw conclusions about how to effectively combat sex trafficking. The ideal conditions for traffickers to “recruit” victims It is important to establish that while trafficking can occur anywhere and anyone can be a victim — evidence has shown that trafficking is more prominent in areas that are politically or economically unstable. This is often due to armed conflicts or natural disasters. In these regions the legal and judicial infrastructure is usually weak or non-existent and criminal networks are able to operate more easily (Väyrynen 2003, pp. 12; de la Vega & HayleyNelson 2006, pp.437). These factors create an ideal environment for trafficking. Women and children, as stated earlier, are the primary victims of sex trafficking but they also tend to make up the majority of the surviving population in post-conflict regions (Wolte 2004, pp.12). In areas where incidents of sex slavery, forced labor, forced pregnancies, abortion and rape campaigns have been the major features of a conflict itself — sex trafficking is more likely to occur after the fighting has ended (Wolte 2004, pp.12). Even after a nation has been “liberated” from armed conflict there is “a time of increased lawlessness and chaos” that makes women and children particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking, especially because this exploitation may be “condoned or state tolerated” by their own countries forces and by peacekeeping forces (de la Vega & HaleyNelson 2006,pp. 438). These conditions and the demographic of the surviving population make it very easy for traffickers to exploit war survivors as trafficking victims. Other regions, which serve as ideal “source” countries for traffickers to take victims from, are areas where there is a lack of economic opportunities and a social climate that condones violence against women (M. Lee, 2011;pp.51). This creates what has been called a “feminization of poverty” that creates a desire amongst women to escape these environments and therefore makes it easier for traffickers to “recruit” victims from these areas (Goodey 2003,pp.160) These women tend to come from poorer countries in
democratic transition, such as former-Soviet states. Traffickers will use newspaper ads to lure women with offers of gainful employment in the West as waitresses, dancers and au pairs (Goodey 2003,pp.161). However, once these women are in the process of leaving their country to find jobs in foreign nations, they find themselves forced into trafficking or discover that they have been deceived by those who were supposed to help them find legitimate work (Wolte 2004, pp.20). Once these women are aware of their situation, they are sometimes subjected to “debt bondage” where they are told that they must “work off” (prostitute themselves) the debt they owe to those responsible for trafficking or buying them. This “debt” can include the costs included in their recruitment, transport, or even the price their exploiter had to pay for them, before they will be set free (USDOS 2012a). There is much evidence to support the idea that large criminal syndicates are primarily connected with sex trafficking (Schwartz 2004, pp. 388-389). By demonstrating where these victims are recruited it shows that sex trafficking victims are often not willing prostitutes. It also helps us understand that there are people who prey on these victims for the sole purpose of trafficking them. These traffickers are often connected to larger criminal organizations that profit a great deal from sex trafficking. Criminal organizations tend to be the primary force behind human trafficking. As the world has become more globalized in the last several decades so have crime syndicates. These organizations have expanded their business into global enterprises that deal in various forms of criminal activity — including trafficking (UNODC 2012). Human trafficking is considered to be the third most profitable illicit trade with an estimated profit of $9.5 billion per year and is described as the “fastest growing criminal enterprise” (Keefer 2006,pp.2). Trafficking in people is especially lucrative considering they can be trafficked and sold more than once. People are also considered “a good commodity” in terms of black market trade, as one author explains, “they do not easily perish, but they can be transported over long distances and can be re-used and re-sold” (Väyrynen 2003,pp.2). Louise Shelley describes this illicit sort of business as a “violent entrepreneur model.” Shelley indicates that a good example of this model is that of Eastern European crime groups taking advantage of the civil conflict in the Balkans and the instability the conflict created, to force a large number of women in these areas into sex trafficking. These victims were then transported to “highly profitable sex markets” in Western European brothels that resulted in a highly lucrative trade for the traffickers and allowed them to finance other illicit activities
(Shelley 2003, pp. 126). These activities can range from trafficking in drugs, arms and chemicals to piracy on the high seas (Keefer 2006, pp.2). In war zones or post-conflict zones, trafficking in humans could be considered the crime that “actively shapes the security environment” as international troops who are sent to police the area are not always trained to recognize human trafficking as it is often not a main priority (Mendelson 2005, pp.14). Human trafficking leads to increased vulnerabilities in the area for criminal networks to exploit other types of trafficking. According to Phil Williams, once routes have been established as “effective” it is easy to traffick practically anything through them (Williams 1994). This is especially true in armed conflict zones, which may serve as a point of origin for many victims, as warlords who traffick in drugs and arms may also expand their activities to trafficking in women (Wolte 2004, pp.5). Victims of sex trafficking are generally transported to areas where there is a wealthy population and a high demand for commercial sex services. While this tends to be Western nations such as Europe or the U.S. — in many cases this can also be where international troops such as military forces or peacekeepers are stationed. “Any influx of peacekeeping troops and other personnel, contractors, local combatants and reconstruction money will create a source of demand [for sexual services] and locally accessible revenue in otherwise poor economies” (U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations [hereafter DPKO] 2004,pp.5). Therefore, the appearance of international troops in a post-conflict area can turn the region from a source country in terms of trafficking into a destination area for trafficked victims (Wolte 2004,pp.26) The connection between foreign troops and brothels Prostitution and sexual enslavement have a long history in connection with militarized troops. “Militarized prostitution is an old phenomenon...access to sexual services provided by prostitutes has always been constructed to be essential for the military performance of almost all armies” (Wolte 2004,pp.27). The most famous example is the 200,000 Korean and Filipino women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during WWII (Ishikane 2007,pp.123). Since then, there have also been documented cases of “prostitution” or sexual enslavement linked to militarized troops in Vietnam, Korea, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo [hereafter DRC] and the former Yugoslavia (Wolte 2004,pp.13-14; Allred 2006,pp.12). In the past, the connection between the military and prostitution was shrugged off with the attitude that “boys will be boys” while some believed that it was a soldier’s ‘right’
to engage in sexual services with prostitutes (Mendelson 2001,pp.18). Foreign soldiers are also a very “lucrative revenue source” as they are charged much more for sexual services than locals are and are said to account for 70 percent of a sex industry’s income (Gibbons 2009,pp.10). Due to the fact that foreigners are charged inflated prices for sexual services, brothels receive “disproportionately higher profits,” from international soldiers than they do from locals (de la Vega & HaleyNelson 2006,pp.453). In most overseas countries hosting U.S. troops there tend to be red-light districts around the bases and a “rapid proliferation” of soldiers, which puts more demand on brothel owners to keep up with the demand for sexual services. This demand is filled by trafficking in women and children to be prostituted (de la Vega & HaleyNelson, 2006,pp.447). Only in recent years has the correlation between troops and prostitution begun to come under criticism for its links to sex trafficking — yet the practice itself has gone on for decades. A major reason for this might be due to the misconception that all prostitutes enter into their “profession” of their own free will. In Mendelson’s research of U.N. peacekeeper involvement in the sex trafficking in Yugoslavia, there was a common theme found among the soldiers and the diplomats interviewed — that prostitution was legal in BosniaHerzegovina and the prostitutes had chosen their current situation (Mendelson 2005,pp.29). How one views prostitution seems to affect the perception of trafficking...in this way, many peacekeepers and policymakers make an error in attributing what is an environmental condition (being held in involuntary servitude) for a dispositional condition (choosing to be a prostitute) (Mendelson 2005,pp.29). While there may indeed be individuals who sell their sexual services of their own free will — it will probably be difficult for the purchaser to determine the difference between “a voluntary prostitute and a sex slave” (Gibbons 2009,pp.9). Even if soldiers or contractors are aware that they are purchasing the services of a trafficking victim — it is often difficult to hold the individual accountable — as they usually have immunity from any legal repercussions while overseas. Immunity and jurisdictional limitations of foreign nationals will be discussed more in the next chapter on U.S. forces in South Korea.
Chapter 2: The U.S. Military and South Korea This dissertation will firstly explore the case of the U.S. and military prostitution/sex trafficking in South Korea and the U.N. troops involvement in sex trafficking while in Bosnia. The case studies for this dissertation were selected due to the fact that they affected two of the largest suppliers of troops in the world; the U.N. and the U.S. Additionally, both cases garnered widespread publicity, which provided more research to pull from. The reason these cases were chosen is for their similarities in terms of being major organizations that are frequently posted in overseas areas, which may be unstable politically and economically. They were also chosen for their contrasts as the U.S. military is judicially controlled by the Department of Defense [hereafter DOD] while the U.N. judicial control is much more ambiguous. Today, South Korea continues to have a thriving sex industry with annual 2010 earnings at $14 billion — making up 4.1 percent the country’s GDP — all in a country where prostitution is illegal (Henheffer 2010). The 28,500 U.S. troops that are based within its borders continue to create a strong demand for this industry, which deals in sex trafficking (Rowland 2012; Hughes, Chon & Ellerman 2007,pp.901). While there has been a long history of military prostitution in South Korea, it was not a subject commonly discussed in the public media until August 2002 when an expose on sex slavery and the U.S. military by McMichael ran in the Navy Times. The story, which detailed sex trafficking near many U.S. military bases in South Korea, was then picked up by major newspapers, wire services, and the Internet (Carraway 2006,pp.301; McMichael 2002a; Mendelson 2005,pp.40) “The implication that U.S. military leaders in Korea were implicitly supporting prostitution, and perhaps even sexual slavery and the trade in trafficked women, was unmistakable” (Allred 2006,pp.12). This was of particular embarrassment to the U.S. government because two years earlier, Congress had committed themselves to fighting human trafficking on a global scale by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection of 2000 (USDOS 2000; Macintyre 2002). Congress’ campaign included the Trafficking in Persons report, which is utilized to determine how well other countries are fighting human trafficking (USDOS 2012c). This solidified the U.S.’ strong stance to police human trafficking within the international community. This case study will review the demand the U.S. military has created in South Korea for a sex industry. The study will also detail how this industry was allowed to continue through the support or lack of action from the Korean government and the U.S. personnel.
The Demand The U.S. military has had bases in South Korea since the end of WWII. Shortly after their arrival, “rest and recreation” (R&R) facilities sprung up outside the military bases where the soldiers had easy access to South Korean women who would provide sexual services (Allred 2005,pp.12). In the eyes of the U.S. military these designated R&R areas served as a way to provide entertainment to the troops and “improve morale” (Hughes, Chon & Ellerman 2007, pp.903) Prior to the arrival of American soldiers in 1945, South Korean women had endured mass sexual slavery by the Japanese army (Ishikane 2007,pp.123). Unfortunately the exploitation of the South Koreans by the Japanese set a precedent of sexual servitude and for the next several decades’ Korean women would be encouraged by their government to have sex with American soldiers (Sang-Hun 2009). At the time, the Korean government was anxious for the U.S. military to remain in South Korea as a means of protection from North Korea and so that they could profit from the foreign currency the GI’s would put into their struggling economy (Sang-Hun 2009). Due to these reasons, from the 1950s-1970s the Korean government worked with the U.S. military to set up R&R areas around the bases, which were exclusive to only U.S. servicemen, and “those who provided services” (Hughes, Chon & Ellerman 2007, pp.903). South Korean officials and the U.S. military police maintained such a close connection with these areas that between the 1960s-1980s they would inspect prostitutes regularly to ensure they didn’t have sexually transmitted diseases that could pass to their soldiers (Chang 2001,pp.645). According to June Lee, the U.S. military’s establishment of R&R facilities created a cultural practice and perception in South Korean society that accepts “gender exploitation and violence” against women in the sex industry, which is still evident today (J. Lee 2005,pp.179). In the past several decades the sex industry that serves the U.S. military transformed — prostitutes no longer work in brothels but as “hostesses, entertainers, and juicy girls,” at venues such as bars and clubs (Weiss 2012,pp.318; McMichael 2002a). Juicy girls are women who work in “juicy bars,” which are establishments that hire foreign women in the country on entertainer visas where they are supposed to flirt and engage with the bar patrons in hope that they will buy her juice drinks throughout the night (Weiss 2012, pp. 319). These drinks make up a quota and if she does not meet the quota she must make up for the loss in prostitution, (Weiss 2012,pp.319) Then in the 1990s, the South Korean economy had improved enough to create job opportunities for women, which had not previously been available. This meant that there
were less Korean women involved in military prostitution — which put pressure on brothel owners to fill their places (McMichael 2002a). In order to meet the demand for sexual services created by the military — women from Eastern Europe and the Philippines began to be trafficked into Korea and forced into prostitution (Carraway 2006,pp.301). These women were typically lured to South Korea from their “poverty-stricken” homelands” with the promise of well paid jobs working as dancers or barmaids. Once these girls arrived, their passports were taken from them and they were forced into “debt bondage” by the establishments management who claimed the girl needed to pay off the thousands of dollars they owed for their transport and upkeep. The only way to make enough money to pay off this debt was through prostitution. Often times if these women attempted to run away without “paying off their debts and without passports and valid visas” they were returned to the bar by corrupt police officers (McMichael 2002a). It is crucial to understand the demand for sexual services created by the U.S. military in Korea because it helps to explain how sexual slavery has become an integral part of prostitution in Korea today. By looking closely at the demand for sex, it also illustrates how the Korean government found it more important to comply with the U.S. military’s appetite for sexual services than enforcing its anti-prostitution laws. In choosing to allow military prostitution to exist, the Korean government created an environment that was ideal for sex trafficking to flourish and which now turned Korea into a prime destination country for sex trafficking (USDOS 2012d). Lack of enforcement When trafficking victims from foreign countries began to fill the demand for prostitution — there was little action by the U.S. military and the Korean government to combat it and the sex trade continued. As Korean women were filling jobs in the legitimate work force — foreign women were often trafficked into South Korea, for the purpose of entering the sex industry, on an entertainer visa, (de la Vega & HaleyNelson, 2006,pp.462). E-6 entertainer visas are issued to those hoping to enter South Korea as a singer, dancer, artist, etc. (USDOS 2012b). de la Vega and HaleyNelson make the claim that the Korean government “arranged” for women to be brought into South Korea on these entertainment visas specifically to meet the demand for military prostitution, (de la Vega & HaleyNelson, 2006,pp.462). The research for this paper has not found any direct evidence to support this claim that the Korean government knowingly issued entertainer visas as a way to supply the sex industry. However, entertainer visas are “widely known to be a legal channel that is
abused for trafficking women for sexual exploitation ” (N.Y. Lee 2007, pp.173; Macintyre 2002). While it is difficult to determine who enters the country on an entertainer visa purely for legitimate work, it is interesting to note that in 2001 8,500 Russian and Filipino women legally entered South Korea on entertainer visas and the majority of them went to work around the military bases (Wolte 2004,pp.29). Every year, 3,000-4,000 Filipino women are said to enter South Korea on entertainer visa’s and then find themselves forced into sexual servitude (humantrafficking,org 2005b). This problem became prominent enough that in 2009 the Filipino government was said to be tightening immigration regulations in order to keep Filipino women from entering South Korea on entertainer visas. Prostitution was cited as a reason for these changes (Rabiroff & Hae-Rym 2009). Overall, while there is no proof to determine that South Korea actively promoted the use of entertainer visas as a means to traffick women into the country for the sex trade, these visas “inadvertently facilitated” the cycle (J. Lee 2005,pp.179). Additionally, the Korean government whether knowingly or unknowingly supported the continuation of these venues by giving them official licenses as “entertainment establishments.” These venues still bring a lot of money into South Korea today, as they are major tourism attractions and the government licensing grants them tax breaks through the Tourism Promotion Act as long as they “cater primarily to foreigners” (Rabiroff & HaeRym 2009). This exclusive clientele is made clear through signs posted on the front of these establishments around the base which read “This facility is for foreigners, tourists, and U.S. Soldiers stationed in Korea only” (Rabiroff & Hae-Rym 2009). While the Korean government may not have actively encouraged women to prostitute themselves to the U.S. soldiers as they did in the past; it could be argued that the government continues to support a sex industry that deals in trafficked women. This is indicative of the proximity of these bars to the U.S. military bases, the tax breaks and the foreigner only clientele continues to support the military demand for a sex industry that deals in trafficked women. There is no way to know the intentions of the South Korean government's policies regarding its entertainer visas and Tourism Promotion Act, but the involvement of the Korean police in supporting prostitution was clear. In 2002, a social worker in Korea who deals with trafficked women explained, “If a Russian or Filipino girl runs away, and the club owner calls the police, the police will go get her — and she will be abused when she’s brought back” (McMichael 2002a). Senior Superintendent Kim Kang-ja, director of the Women and Juvenile Division of the Korean National Police Agency elaborated on this
widespread corruption by stating that “almost all” South Korean police and political officials “concerned with prostitution are engaged in bribery” (McMichael 2002a). Kim stated that if the anti-prostitution laws were truly enforced then most U.S. soldiers would be arrested, but this was not the reality (McMichael 2002b). The U.S. military police (MP) would also do little to fight the issue of trafficking in these venues. Typically, the military base could categorize an establishment they suspected of criminal activity as an “off limits zone” to their personnel who could get into trouble if found there (Allred 2006,pp.13; U.S. Forces Korea 2012b). However, according to McMichael, the MP’s would often inspect these bars and clubs to make sure that servicemen were not causing trouble but they could not create “off limits” zones to servicemen for trafficking unless the Korean National Police gave them documented evidence of this (McMichael 2002b). Additionally, MP’s could not obtain the evidence themselves because it would require questioning people who work at the club which is a violation of Korean sovereignty (McMichael 2002b). Despite the fact that there was little evidence that could be found by the MP’s to take action; some claim that military superiors were well aware that trafficked women were working in the bars that U.S. soldiers would frequent (Macintyre 2002). One soldier stated in 2002 that if military officials weren’t aware that trafficked women were being forced into military prostitution then they were “fools” (McMichael 2002a). However, other members claimed in the past that they were unaware prostitution was illegal in Korea and that they had never heard that the prostitutes were trafficked (Macintyre 2002). Even though prostitution was and still is illegal in Korea, the government had allowed the trade to continue for so long to keep the U.S. military happy. As a consequence of not enforcing the anti-prostitution laws, the trafficking of women became an issue that was ignored or unseen. The fact that the U.S. military continued to turn a blind eye and allowed personnel to keep patronizing establishments where prostitution occurred only continued to fuel the demand. Between the continued demand from the U.S. soldiers and the lack of enforcement from both the U.S. military and the Korean government — there was nothing to stop the cycle of sex trafficking in South Korea. The Criminal Connection As discussed earlier, where there are trafficked women — there tends to be organized crime. It is difficult to find adequate research, which details the extent of criminal
organizations involvement in sex trafficking. Due to the scarcity of this information, the little research found on the criminal connections in South Korea are primarily anecdotal. In South Korea, the majority of “companies” set up to employee women as “entertainers” tend to operate more like a “family company” than a “mafia type criminal organization.” These companies generally consist of recruiting agencies; entertainment management companies and juicy bars often are able to evade charges of prostitution or late wages due to their lack of institutionalism and their “loose operations” (J. Lee 2005,pp.182183). However, while these small organizations exist within South Korea, organized gangs also traffic women into the country. There has been evidence to support that the Russian Mafia trafficks women from the far northeastern part of Russia by providing them with “job opportunities as entertainers” and also giving them Korean tourist visas. The Russian mafia makes a commission off each of these women who are then sent to Korea and find themselves working as prostitutes (J. Lee 2005, pp.182-183;Park 2001,pp.65). For instance, in January 2000 authorities broke up a criminal network that involved both Russian and Korean organized crime syndicates meeting in Seoul. The Russians acted as a supplier for the Koreans and received $1000 every month for each woman they trafficked. The Koreans then put these women through a “job placement agency.” The previous year it was found that at least 50 Russian women had undergone this same process through the same agency (Hughes, Chon & Ellerman 2007,pp.908). While the Russians have a hand in supplying women the Korean law enforcement believe that the Korean and Chinese criminal syndicates were also bringing women into South Korea (Park 2001,pp.65). However, the traffickers traditionally bring in women to meet the demand created by the U.S. military, there have been some cases where the U.S. soldiers worked for the Asian organized crime syndicates as traffickers themselves. These soldiers would help traffick women into the U.S. by entering into “fraudulent marriages” with them so that these women could enter U.S. soil under a legitimate visa and the pretense of being a military spouse. Upon entering the U.S. the women would be forced in prostitution rings posing as massage parlors (Hughes, Chon & Ellerman 2007, pp.901). The evidence of transnational organized crime within the South Korean sex industry which is primarily there to serve the U.S. military is important to note because this could indicate other criminal activity within the country. As the U.S. military created the demand that led to a thriving sex industry and later sex trafficking, which gives criminal organizations a business hold in the country; the U.S. military is inadvertently responsible for proliferating organized crime in South Korea.
The Aftermath In 2002 when the exposé on the U.S. military’s relationship with sex trafficking in South Korea was broadcast throughout major media outlets — there was immediate outrage from the U.S. government.
In their letter to Rumsfeld calling for an investigation of sex slaves in Korea, the members of Congress said, “When American soldiers acting in their official capacity effectively condone the practice of soliciting the services of trafficked persons, the efforts of Congress, the State Department, and other U.S. government agencies are severely undermined in working to end the trafficking of human beings (McMichael 2002a).
Before explaining the actions that were taken by the DOD, it is important to understand how U.S. sovereignty works in conjunction with U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. When the U.S. military is stationed in a foreign country they enter into a Status of Forces Agreement [hereafter SOFA] that outlines the jurisdictional rights a host nation has over U.S. personnel; they share these rights with the U.S. military (Mason 2012,pp.1). SOFA’s often give primary jurisdiction rights to the host nation, meaning that with several exceptions the authorities within the host nation have a right to prosecute U.S. personnel for violating their laws (Pike 2012). The exceptions to this rule tend to be applicable only to criminal cases that involve U.S. personnel (Americans against Americans) or when U.S. personnel commit the offense when they are “carrying out official duty.” In these instances, the U.S. has primary jurisdiction (Pike 2012). In reference to sex trafficking there are countries where prostitution is technically legal and therefore does not deter U.S. soldiers in engaging with prostitutes and possibly trafficking victims. Prior to 2006 the DOD had no “explicit prohibition” on facilitating sexual services from a prostitute (Jowers 2006). This led to a jurisdictional grey area especially in terms of South Korea. As discussed previously, there appeared to be gaps in the rights the U.S. MP’s had in determining which places were trafficking women as they were not allowed to interview anyone within the establishment that was not U.S. personnel, as it violated Korean sovereignty. Then of course Korea’s anti-prostitution laws were not being widely enforced, with Korean police even being known to bring runaway prostitutes back to their managers (McMichael 2002a). Overall, it can be argued that the Korean authorities were not exercising their full jurisdictional rights to combat the problem. Therefore the DOD had to change something. In an effort to combat the demand created by the U.S. troops, the DOD issued changes to their Uniform Code of Military
Justice in 2006, which makes it a criminal act to “patronize a prostitute” and encouraging an act of prostitution by “enticing, inducing or procuring”(Noone 2005,pp.1; humantrafficking.org 2006). The punishment for this could result in up to a year in prison and a dishonorable discharge among other things (humantrafficking.org 2006). As explained with the SOFA agreement, the U.S. military could exercise jurisdiction over their soldiers who violated military laws. These changes made it possible for the DOD to exercise jurisdiction over any of their personnel worldwide who may engage in prostitution and possibly sex trafficking, even in countries where prostitution was legal.
It is novel because those countries that forbid prostitution typically focus the enforcement efforts on suppliers rather than customers. Nor does any other country, to my knowledge, extend the reach of its military justice system so that, for example, a soldier who seeks sex from a prostitute in a country where prostitution is permitted would still be subject to criminal prosecution (Noone 2005,pp.1).
The “zero-tolerance” policy which the DOD was enforcing not only required that all personnel who engaged in prostitution and or trafficking to be held judicially accountable but also made prevention a priority. According to the Department of the Army, commanders have the responsibility to establish and continuously enforce off-limits locations (which include establishments suspected of dealing in trafficking) as well as periodically assessing the level of trafficking in the area they are stationed (Department of the U.S. Army 2006). Most crucially, the DOD requires that all military personnel both U.S. soldiers and military contractors stationed within the U.S. or deployed overseas, take mandatory awareness training on trafficking once every year (Department of the Army, 2006). All Navy ships visiting Korean ports must now have counter trafficking training which details the issue of trafficking, off-limits areas that exploit trafficking victims, and the consequences for engaging in prostitution/trafficking (Allred 2006,pp.13). The military has also taken steps to encourage soldiers to report any suspected trafficking through 24 hour hotlines and providing them with guide books that help them identify and avoid areas where trafficking may be occurring (Allred 2006,pp.13). After the U.S. established their zerotolerance policy, the Korean government began to cooperate with military forces stationed in Korea to identify businesses that might be exploiting trafficking victims, and turning the business into an “off limits” area for U.S. soldiers (de la Vega & HaleyNelson, 2006,pp.462). While the case of sex trafficking in South Korea was an unfortunate consequence of the demand created by U.S. troops; the embarrassment it created for the DOD as a whole shed light on how the placement of troops can fuel trafficking and criminal organizations.
This resulted in huge changes in military policy, which guaranteed more awareness amongst troops on the true nature of sex trafficking as well as legal consequences for those who may facilitate sexual services from potential victims. Allred claimed that the changes made by the U.S. military appeared to work as “prostitution is harder to find” in South Korea as of 2006 (Allred 2006,pp.13). However, de la Vega and HaleyNelson argue that the effect of the new policies had not yet been reported and therefore could not be commented on (de la Vega & HaleyNelson 2006,pp.447). It is difficult to tell even today how effective the DOD’s zero-tolerance policies have been in keeping U.S. troops from contributing to the demand of sex trafficking, what is known is that it is a problem that still exists as seen in a 2009 Stars and Stripes article which detailed how ‘juicy bars’ which deal in sex trafficking were still a haven for U.S. military personnel (Rabiroff & Hae-Rym 2009). The problem of sex trafficking will probably always exist as long as there is some demand — the fact that the U.S. government is now able to hold people responsible as well as educate their troops is at least a step towards fighting the problem. However, as will be illustrated in the next chapter — not every organization has the capability to hold their troops accountable for crimes committed in a host nation.
Chapter 3:The U.N. Peacekeepers & Bosnia-Herzegovina The case of the U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina is very different from the U.S. military in South Korea. South Korea had been a host nation to the U.S. military for decades and over time had developed a large industry based on military prostitution that would later expand to international sex trafficking. Bosnia-Herzegovina however, was a war zone when U.N. peacekeepers were deployed to the region in the midst of a war (Mameli 2011). There was little to no infrastructure to build from and warlords and criminal organizations were running their operations in the area (Human Rights Watch 1996). Systematic rape had been used as a form of ethnic cleansing and had resulted in camps where women and children were exposed to sexual violence and slavery (Mendelson 2005,pp.13). In the post-conflict environment rape and sexual trafficking continued — but this time at the hands of U.N. peacekeepers (Vulliamy 2012). For the purpose of this paper, other forces such as NATO will be used as examples when referring to the case of peacekeeping within Bosnia. NATO was in Bosnia under U.N. mandate and therefore enjoyed the same privileges and immunity of other U.N. personnel; their involvement in sex trafficking within Bosnia should therefore be counted as relevant (NATO 2012; Office of the High Representative 1995). The Demand The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations [hereafter UNDPKO] has acknowledged that while there is “very little data available” there is “strong anecdotal evidence” that indicates peacekeepers were involved in sexual services with trafficking victims whether knowingly or unknowingly (UNDPKO, 2004;pp.5-6). While there was documentation of abuse by peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s; the full extent of peacekeepers involvement in sexual exploitation and trafficking was not fully realized until widespread allegations of similar behavior from U.N. peacekeepers was reported in the DRC in 2004 (Defeis 2008,pp.187). Like the case of the U.S. in South Korea — one needs to look at Bosnia-Herzegovina and contemplate how the presence of an international force creates a demand for sex trafficking, particularly in a war torn region where sexual violence and rape was a trademark of that conflict. When 50,000 peacekeepers, the majority of them male, were deployed to BosniaHerzegovina in aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia — the trade in trafficked women “sprang up nearly overnight outside the gates of the U.N. compounds” (Allred 2006,pp.7; Rees 2002;pp.61). It was claimed that one could drive through Bosnia and judge which international force had responsibility for that particular area by the names of the brothels.
For example, the sector the U.S. was responsible for had establishments with names like Liberty Restaurant and Malibu Club; the French sector would have bars called Cafe Bashta and Cafe San Bar. It became evident that these brothels were around international deployments and that most of the personnel visiting these bars were foreigners and members of the NATO stabilization force (SFOR) (Mendelson 2005,pp.10 -11). According to NGO’s within Bosnia in s2002, half the clients in brothels were internationals (mainly soldiers from SFOR). However, the International Police Task Force [hereafter IPTF] within Bosnia claimed only 30 percent of those who patronized brothels were internationals — but 70 percent of all the profits came from foreign clients — as they are charged higher rates than the locals (Limanowska 2002,pp.65). There is a trafficking route through the Balkans that leads to Western Europe but also Bosnia and Kosovo. In 2001 an estimated 2,600 prostitutes were trafficked through here to satisfy the demand in the region created by international peacekeepers and contractors — 10 percent were minors and 25 percent claimed to have been trafficked (Väyrynen 2003,pp.17). Bosnia had become a primary country of destination within south Eastern Europe and girls were trafficked from poor nations such as Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro to meet the demand (Mendelson 2005,pp.9). These trafficked girls believed they were taking jobs abroad as waitresses or au pairs but upon embarking on their journey they were forced to strip, then sold to someone “who humiliated, beat and raped them into dead eyed submission.” Somewhere along the way they ended up imprisoned in a brothel in Bosnia (Lillia Diu 2012). The money the peacekeepers brought into Bosnia made the area a destination country for trafficked women in a region where the surrounding countries were all source or transit areas (Jennings &Nikolić-Ristanović 2009,pp.9). As noted earlier, when international forces appear in a post-conflict region it can turn the area from a source country into a destination country (Wolte 2004,pp.5). “The sex slave trade in Bosnia largely exists because of the U.N. peacekeeping operation...without the peacekeeping presence, there would have been little or no forced prostitution in Bosnia” (Allred 2006,pp.7). Participation in trafficking Despite the fact that the peacekeepers were creating a large demand for sex trafficking within the area they were supposed to be stabilizing — there were strong attitudes among senior officials within numerous organizations that prostitution was not a problem. For example, officials at NATO were so well aware of SFOR’s involvement with prostitutes
that they sent out a radio broadcast advising their personnel to make sure the prostitute was there of her own volition, not underage, to pay her and not the “man exploiting her” and to use a condom (Cockburn & Hubic, 2002, pp.111). Yet, when the Public Information Office at Supreme Headquarters for the Allied Powers in Europe was asked about SFOR’s policy on the use of prostitutes he replied with, “SFOR has no policy on these issues (and sees no need for one)” (Cockburn & Hubic 2002,pp.111). It was made clear that there was a lack of responsibility by NATO to educate their personnel or deter them from engaging in prostitution and possibly sex trafficking. This lack of accountability was prevalent despite the fact that prostitution was illegal in Bosnia, yet NATO was fully aware that their soldiers were engaging in it (Institute for War & Peace 2001). According to Mendelson, when she first discussed the links between peacekeeping operations and sex trafficking with senior NATO officers she stated that she received “eyerolling, raised brows, and embarrassed snickering.” The overall message that she was given by one particular senior military official was that “boys will be boys” (Mendelson 2005,pp.19). The senior levels of NATO didn’t take the links between sex trafficking and their troops seriously; therefore it could be argued that neither did the personnel on the ground. These perceptions showcased that no major peacekeeping forces had been educated or trained on how to fight human trafficking (Mendelson 2005,pp.5). These indifferent attitudes towards this very serious crime and violation of human rights most likely contributed to why little was done by the organization to prevent trafficking and why so many personnel actively engaged in commercial sex with these trafficking victims and sometimes even assisted in the trafficking itself. Kathryn Bolkovac, a former U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia who uncovered numerous personnel involved with sex trafficking, discovered up to 1,800 Bosnian and U.N. police officers who were not only using trafficked prostitutes but were also working for the traffickers (Lillia Diu 2012). The IPTF were being paid to give advanced warning on raids, bring back girls who had escaped “or when rescued girls were repatriated let the traffickers know where they could collect them so they could be recycled back into the system” (Lillia Diu 2012). In addition to being paid, the police officers were given “free access” to the trafficked victims (Lillia Diu 2012). In 2002 it was revealed through hearings conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives that members of SFOR were clients of trafficked women and underage girls. There were also allegations that both IPTF and SFOR were actively participating in the trafficking process by “forging documents, recruiting and selling women
to brothel owners” (Allred 2006,pp.7) These practices were still going on as late as June 2002 (de la Vega & HaleyNelson 2006,pp.452-453). Essentially, many of the peacekeeping forces sent to Bosnia had not only engaged in trafficking by patronizing trafficked women — but had become traffickers themselves. The ones that were caught were sent back home and as of 2002 none had faced criminal investigation or prosecution by their home countries (Wolte 2004,pp.36). In participating in trafficking both through prostitution and facilitating the actual trafficking itself, peacekeeping personnel became part of the problem that they were sent in to solve. They were not stabilizing the area or trying to help victims, rather they were exploiting a post-war environment where they would not be held accountable. Immunity Unlike the case of the U.S. military in South Korea — the U.N. did not have the power to take legal action against peacekeepers that were suspected of engaging in prostitution/sex trafficking. All U.N. personnel enjoy immunity from local jurisdiction when abroad as stated under the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the U.N. (U.N. Ethics Office 1946). The reason for this convention is to provide U.N personnel with fewer legal obstacles in fulfilling their duties in a foreign nation (U.N. Ethics Office 1946). This immunity clause is included in every SOFA the U.N. has with host nations that they send their personnel into. This states that the Convention “shall apply to the United Nations peacekeeping operation subject to the provisions specified in the present agreement” (U.N. General Assembly 1990). Therefore when U.N. personnel are deployed in a host nation, the only thing that the U.N. has the right to do is to send any peacekeepers accused of wrongdoing back to their home nation (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.38). The only way that peacekeepers may be held legally accountable for their actions is if their home country decides to prosecute. In order to explain the reasoning behind this, it is important to understand how the U.N. hires peacekeepers. While there are numerous details and discussions over jurisdictional rights over U.N. peacekeepers — this section will provide a very basic overview of this system. When the U.N. gathers potential peacekeepers for a mission they provide compensation to the governments of countries that provide troops and wages to the soldiers themselves; these countries are called troop-contributing countries [hereafter TCC] (U.N. Peacekeeping 2012). Due to the fact that compensation is often paid to TCC’s — many of the countries that volunteer are developing nations that may benefit from the monetary
gains (U.N. General Assembly 2012). These TCC’s are the ones who hold judicial rights over their citizens when they have committed crimes abroad while on a U.N. mission, however it has been the trend that these countries don’t enforce any legal consequences over their soldiers once they have been sent home. This may be because of embarrassment over the soldiers actions and not wanting to draw more attention to the crime. However, another big reason to not prosecute is due to a lack of available evidence because the event occurred in another country (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.14).
“If the TCC is willing and able to prosecute its troops for crimes committed during peacekeeping deployments, the evidence is inadmissible under their rules of evidence or insufficient to sustain a conviction in the domestic courts of the accused...the result is an understandable inability to prosecute even if they want to.”(Allred 2006,pp.10)
While the U.N. does not guarantee immunity; if the Secretary-General ever feels that immunity would intrude upon the “course of justice” and that this privilege “can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the U.N.” then he has the power to do this (U.N. Ethics Office 1946). According to Allred, it’s a rare act for the secretary general to waive the immunity of a peacekeeper and would probably only occur if a “heinous crime” was committed which both the TCC and host nation refused to prosecute or could not prosecute due to lack of resources (Allred 2006,pp.9-10). The U.N.’s convention of immunity provides a literal “get out of jail free card” for U.N. peacekeepers that engage in sexual exploitation. This presents a major concern for not only the U.N’s credibility when sending in troops to a country, but also for the country accepting U.N. peacekeepers. This immunity clause has made it possible for peacekeepers from a variety of countries and cultures to go to a post-conflict area where their presence has created an immediate demand for sex trafficking, engage in sex trafficking and have little chance of legal repercussion. Criminal Connection Like many other cases of sex trafficking, the trade within Bosnia-Herzegovina was connected to larger crime organizations. Bosnia-Herzegovina has a very rugged terrain which makes the borders of the country “naturally porous,” this means that it is very difficult to guard all the parts of the border and it’s easier for criminal organizations to traffick girls for sexual exploitation (humantrafficking.org 2005a). Prostitution was just “one feature of a black economy” where criminal organization dealt in prostitution as well
as drugs and weapons. The criminal organizations in the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina had formerly been ‘warring ethnic groups’ that had evolved to criminal gangs who may have fought against each other during the war but were now trading with each other (Cockburn & Hubic 2002,pp.111) The Serbian Mafia as well as Russian and Central European crime gangs are several organizations that are said to have been operating sex trafficking rings which catered to U.N. officials (Sindelar 2011; Potts 2003,pp.234). The criminal element of the operation in Bosnia made it even more dangerous for victims to try and escape their situation, as their captors were very dangerous men who were often accused of war crimes in addition to being involved with criminal organizations. However, due to the fact that the police were assisting in the trafficking, there was no one who victims could run to (Cockburn & Hubic 2002,pp.112). According to Mendelson, there was a significant amount of evidence that indicated the profits from sex trafficking was an important part of the “clandestine political economy” which fuels the criminal enterprises that have authority in the area (Mendelson 2005,pp.16). However, despite this evidence, Mendelson discovered many of the NATO and U.N. workers in Bosnia believed that human trafficking was a “small problem” that would disappear once the criminal networks were taken down. They assumed that the high profits from sex trafficking were not funding other criminal activities (Mendelson 2005,pp.23). Criminal organizations bring in an entire new job market through sex trafficking. Individuals may find jobs working for the criminal networks as pimps, owners or employees in brothels and nightclubs, traffickers, recruiters and brokers all through this illegal economy (Jennings & Nikolić-Ristanović 2009,pp.11). According to Madeleine Rees, the former High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bosnia, hundreds of millions of dollars went into the illegal economy in Bosnia. That means the only jobs in Bosnia were through organized crime This led to destabilization of the area and ultimately, mission failure (48South7th 2012). Sex trafficking fuels the organized criminal network so that even when international troops leaves — taking the demand with them — the illicit economy is still there and can still function through other means (Jennings & Nikolić-Ristanović 2009,pp.11). Therefore, while international troops often create a demand for sex trafficking — the criminal enterprises trafficking fuels continue to operate even after they leave and continue to destabilize the region.
The Aftermath The U.N. issued many policies in an effort to combat sexual exploitation by their personnel once the international community became aware of the incidents in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as other missions in other countries. However, this section will only focus on some of the key steps made by the U.N. in their efforts to correct any negligence or actions from their personnel and the organization as a whole. Additionally, this section constantly refers to efforts to combat “sexual exploitation and abuse” [hereafter SEA] because this is the word choice used by the U.N. in all their policies and documentation. SEA is an umbrella term that encompasses sex trafficking and forced prostitution. When individuals such as Bolkovac and Rees attempted to raise the issue of sex trafficking with the U.N. they were continuously blocked by the administration (48South7th 2012; Vulliamy 2012). In the 1990s there were public reports of peacekeeper involvement in sex trafficking within Bosnia but it wasn’t until 2002 that the U.N. really addressed the issue in a big way. By that time there were widespread allegations of SEA by U.N. personnel in peacekeeping missions in Cambodia, Timore Leste, Kosovo and the DRC (Jennings & Nikolić-Ristanovic 2009,pp.9). In 2000, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1325 which addressed the effects armed conflict has specifically on women and children (U.N. Security Council 2000). Among other things, this resolution required Member states within the U.N. to provide gender-sensitivity training for U.N. personnel (U.N. Security Council 2000). The resolution took four years to gain any real implementation and its successes have not been consistent. One of the main failures of Resolution 1325 was adequately educating troops. For example, a 2005 report from the DRC indicated that only 400 U.N. members had received gender-sensitivity training as opposed to the total 15,000 U.N. personnel deployed to the region. The training was considered optional for U.N. personnel rather than mandatory and therefore had low attendance. This is juxtaposed by the hundreds of accusations against U.N. personnel for engaging in SEA within the DRC including trafficking (Geiger 2009,pp.36-47). In spite of the efforts of Resolution 1325, allegations of SEA by peacekeepers on U.N. missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and the DRC were widely circulated (Jenning & Nikolić-Ristanovic 2009, pp.9). Following the outrage over these accusations, the U.N. issued Resolution 57/306 which among other things produced the “Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse” [hereafter SGB] in 2003 (Jennings & Nikolić-Ristanovic 2009,pp.9; U.N. Secretariat 2003). This bulletin is updated once a year
and defines SEA in explicit terms, outlines a code of conduct, and reiterates a “zero tolerance” policy with respect to SEA for all U.N. personnel to follow. Some of these include a strong prohibition towards prostitution of any kind whether it’s sexual services for food, employment or money. These guidelines were echoed in other U.N. publications including a guide for U.N. peacekeepers labeled “Ten Rules: Code of Personal Conduct For Blue Helmets” [hereafter Ten Rules]. The fourth rule in Ten Rules explicitly states that U.N. peacekeepers should not “indulge in immoral acts of sexual, physical or psychological abuse of the local population.... especially women and children” (U.N. Conduct and Discipline Unit 2010). Additionally, there shouldn’t be any sexual relations with a person under the age of 18 — even if the host country considers those under the age of 18 to be a legal adult (U.N. Secretariat 2003). However, as the U.N. has no way of enforcing these guidelines — they remained simply guidelines rather than binding rules (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.12). This code of conduct is still utilized today in the U.N.’s training and prevention of sexual exploitation (U.N. Secretariat 2003; U.N. Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation 2008). According to the resolution policy, there was demand that the Secretary-General and the TCC’s do more to hold peacekeepers personally responsible for their actions when overseas, but there was little mention of how they should go about this. Overall, the SGB emphasizes that leadership within the U.N. must communicate and educate their subordinates on the policies of anti-trafficking (U.N. General Assembly 2003). In spite of the U.N. reiterating formalized guidelines against SEA, the reports of abuse by peacekeepers continued, especially in the DRC. This led the Secretary-General to state that the measures in place by the U.N. to combat SEA were “manifestly inadequate” and that a “fundamental change in approach was needed” (U.N. General Assembly 2005). Therefore, the Secretary-General brought in His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to advise on this matter and to provide a comprehensive report on SEA in the DRC [hereafter known as Prince Zeid’s report] by U.N. personnel (U.N. General Assembly 2005). While the findings of this report are imperative they are also numerous and therefore, this dissertation will focus on key findings that include education of troops and jurisdictional proceedings. One of the key findings in Prince Zeid’s report was that there were up to five different categories of U.N. personnel and that each subdivision had different legal status and therefore different rules. This provided a major implication that the U.N. needed to unify all personnel to follow the same guidelines outlined in the SGB (U.N. General
Assembly 2005,pp.11) Also, the SGB and the Ten Rules were recommended to be part of every binding agreement between a TCC and the U.N; this would ensure that the TCC must hold any of their accused soldiers judicially responsible for their crimes in a host nation (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.12). To assist in holding these soldiers responsible, Prince Zeid suggested that a specialized expert head all investigations into SEA by peacekeepers and that an expert in military law from the same country as the accused be part of the investigation. According to Prince Zeid, this was imperative, as it would allow the legal expert to gather evidence in accordance with their countries legal standards so that the accused may be prosecuted with solid evidence in their home country. Lastly, the TCC’s must agree to have court martials on sight in the host nation as that is where all witnesses will be located (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.16). A year later it was clear that the implementation of Prince Zeid’s policies were not successful as he stated in a confidential report obtained by the London Times “the situation appears to be one of ‘zero compliance with zero tolerance’ throughout the mission” (Defeis 2008,pp.188). This was possibly due to a lack of action by member states within the U.N. In a press briefing, Prince Zeid stated that his report to the U.N. was met with “utter silence” from influential member states and that the meetings he had scheduled after his presentation had low attendance. Prince Zeid went onto say “The entire responsibility for this mess is with the member states” (Hoge 2005). In December 2007 the evidence of these failed policies would be made known when numerous accusations of peacekeeper SEA began to come out of Sudan — all noting that the abuse began with the arrival of U.N. peacekeepers (Defeis 2008,pp.189-190). In a nutshell, very little has been done to effectively counter sex trafficking and SEA by U.N. peacekeepers. As late as 2008, there were allegations against U.N. peacekeepers for patronizing child prostitutes (Caplan 2012) Despite that this shows no direct proof of sex trafficking — it illustrates that the U.N. is still involved in heinous sex crimes that only undermine the mission and harm the people they are supposed to help. If other sexual abuses are going on, it’s probably a safe assumption that so is sex trafficking. This type of abuse, which has continued in spite of education and awareness policies by the U.N., has done nothing but undermine the U.N’s reputation and value.
Chapter 4: Analysis and Conclusion After exploring both case studies of U.S. forces in Korea and the U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina it is evident that the main factor, which makes or breaks the implementation of effective anti-trafficking regulations, is a domestic system versus an international one. It is easier for the U.S. to create and implement new policies against sex trafficking. This means that they have complete judiciary power when it comes to enforcing their laws against prostitution and sex trafficking as well as creating mandatory training for all U.S. personnel on sex trafficking. Not to mention there is a shared sense of culture over gender issues and everyone speaks the same language so there is no language barriers to overcome when implementing these policies. The U.N. is quite the opposite in every respect. They have numerous member states that must decide to approve policy and also to implement them. There are different cultures and different perspectives on gender and prostitution, which affect education, and laws on these subjects. Overall, the U.S system is unified and therefore consistent and effective in how it has treated the relationship between it’s military and sex trafficking. The U.N., while prolific in its policies, has been unable to implement the necessary actions to actively prevent sex trafficking — judicial enforcement and education/awareness. Jurisdiction The U.S. military is completely under the judicial control of U.S. military law and the DOD (Allred 2006,pp.13). This has made it possible for the government to make changes and policies with less obstacles when it comes to their troops. An example of this is seen in how anti-prostitution laws were not effectively enforced due to a gap in the jurisdiction between Korean police and U.S. military police. However, the DOD fixed this when they made prostitution a higher offense. Therefore, even if the soldiers are not breaking any laws of a host nation they must also be complicit with U.S. military law or face legal repercussions (Noone 2005,pp.81). The U.N. on the other hand, has a much more complicated system where there are numerous moving parts and judicial control is not an easy matter to solve. If every U.N. peacekeeper is from a different TCC and their respective country is the only one with judicial control over them — then every U.N. peacekeeper is subject to different laws. Not only are these U.N. peacekeepers exclusively accountable by their home countries but they are held to different organizational rules. As Prince Zeid points out, there is little unification in terms of the rules of all U.N. peacekeepers as peacekeepers at different
categories are subject to different standards (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.11). There is very little unification in terms of rules for peacekeepers when it comes to sexual exploitation, including trafficking. This creates even more problems, as it does not create consistency among U.N. personnel to educate them about these issues and to hold them accountable. Additionally, peacekeepers come from different cultures that may not support equal treatment of women. “Peacekeepers bring their own unreformed gender relations with them, fail to support women’s struggle for change and, at worst, may even add to the oppression and exploitation of women” (Cockburn & Hubic 2002, pp.103). Therefore when you have soldiers from different backgrounds with different laws, it makes it difficult to hold these soldiers accountable through their own nations courts. This is not helped by the fact that obtaining evidence for these crimes is not made easy when they are committed in another nation. More importantly, all U.N. personnel are immune to prosecution within a host nation where they may choose to commit heinous acts. The U.S. has managed to create jurisdictional accountability by creating harsher rules for their personnel, which could result in severe consequences such as dishonorable discharge or prison time. Having understood the connections between sex trafficking and prostitution, the U.S. took action to make engagement with a prostitute in any form a punishable act. Given the evidence portrayed in this dissertation; there are inextricable links between prostitution and sex trafficking. Therefore, the U.N. should not allow their personnel to be immune from anti-prostitution laws. This would effectively mean that if any U.N. personnel were to be found facilitating commercial sex or engaging directly with the trafficking process that they would be held accountable by the nation they are deployed to. Every U.N. peacekeeping mission must have a SOFA, which grants immunity “subject to the provisions” in that agreement. Therefore the SOFA could specify that prostitution is not covered by the immunity clause (U.N. General Assembly 1990). The immunity convention exists to allow personnel less legal complications from fulfilling their job — creating accountability for prostitution should not affect the rest of the immunities they enjoy. However, in the event that the host nation has no infrastructure to legally prosecute that individual or has no laws against prostitution itself then their respective nation would need to prosecute them. This brings in another change, which the U.N. should consider; the member states should vet all TCC’s before they are allowed to participate as U.N. peacekeepers. This vetting process would be based on the fact that the country has anti-prostitution and anti31
trafficking laws as well as the means and will to enforce them. If developing nations are primarily the countries that supply troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions and rely on the compensation/aid they receive from the U.N. for these services, then theoretically these countries would be motivated to comply with these regulations (U.N. General Assembly 2012). According to Rees, unless member states prove that they have policies in place where TCC’s will uphold rigid human rights laws and will really enforce them to the highest degrees, they shouldn’t be allowed to send their troops (48South7th 2012). Prince Zeid had a similar recommendation in his report and suggested that the Ten Rules be a “binding agreement” with the TCC to ensure the country truly held their people accountable for sexual exploitation (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.12) This standard of upholding human rights laws also aids in an effort to prosecute U.N. personnel who knowingly facilitate trafficking. Given that peacekeepers are creating a demand for sex trafficking, engaging in trafficking and contributing to the profit margins of organized criminals — there needs to be stricter standards in terms of who is allowed to be a peacekeeper (48South7th 2012). Otherwise there is no point in sending personnel who will only add to the further destabilization of a country. In order for TCC’s to effectively prosecute U.N. personnel — the recommendations from Prince Zeid’s report must be implemented. This must include allowing expert investigators in the host nation to investigate any accusations. These investigations should allow a military law expert and or prosecutor from the peacekeepers home nation to effectively gather evidence, which will stand in that nations court. Additionally, there should be court martials on site to allow for witness testimony (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.16). Education and Awareness The U.S.’s approach with having the power of judiciary over their soldiers is the same when it comes to education and awareness over trafficking. As stated previously, every U.S. soldier and contractor is required to take mandatory training on human trafficking every year (U.S. Forces Korea 2012a). This awareness/education is enforced by instructional videos that advise on the connection between prostitution and how prostitution is illegal in Korea, as well as how to report any suspected trafficking activities (U.S. Forces Korea 2008). When the U.N. passed Resolution 1325 back in 2000, which required all member states to provide gender sensitivity training for their personnel, it was considered a
milestone policy. Unfortunately, this is a policy that one author described as “merely words lacking commitment and political will” (Geiger 2009,pp.1). While there are many moving parts to the U.N. and it is more difficult to exercise control over all personnel; there were opportunities the U.N. missed to educate their troops. As noted in the earlier section, gender-sensitivity training was not made mandatory for U.N. personnel (Geiger 2009,pp.36). This is something that should have been made a priority for all personnel within their training, yet it was not. Like all U.S. soldiers, the U.N. must require mandatory intensive training on sex trafficking that is given on arrival to a host nation as well as later in the mission. The standards of conduct already exist in the form of the SGB and Ten Rules, which can be utilized within the training. U.N. commanders need to be present during these trainings to set an example and TCC’s must ensure that their own “contingent commanders” attend these trainings (U.N. General Assembly 2005,pp.18). Trainings should also serve to educate troops on the difference between prostitution and sex trafficking and how to identify trafficking victims. This training should also inform troops on the connections between sex trafficking and organized crime and the implications this has for other criminal activities within a region. Lastly, it should be made very clear that the profits gained from sex trafficking fuel other illicit business can lead to mission failure if gone unchecked (48South7th 2012). This ties the goal of the U.N. mission to the prevention of sex trafficking. The U.N. and the U.S. today continue to combat the demand for sex trafficking created by their troops. While the U.S. and the U.N. are two very different governing systems — there are aspects of the U.S zero-tolerance policy that the U.N. can implement to their own. Both jurisdictional accountability and troop education on sex trafficking are two necessary steps that are needed to combat sex trafficking. Holding individuals accountable for their involvement in sex trafficking serves not just as a point of justice but also as a deterrent for others who may consider similar actions. Education on the truth of sex trafficking provides insight into the individual human rights that are violated from forced prostitution as well as the larger criminal organizations it funds. Both of these institutions can hopefully change attitudes and behavior over sex trafficking.
Conclusion The role international troops play in the cycle of sex trafficking is that they create the demand for sexual services and therefore prostitution. Without the demand for sex trafficking there would be no market for it. Therefore, international troops are crucial to this criminal business. It is safe to presume that wherever there may be troops, there will be brothels. The research for this dissertation has found that throughout history militaries have consistently created a demand for prostitution. However, while the connection between prostitution and troops has been around for so long, the concept of governments and international organizations view prostitution has not evolved very much over time. It is critical that these entities change their perspective of what they believe prostitution to be and recognize that the demand troops have for commercial sex is being met with sexual slavery. However, what broader academic literature does not illustrate and what governments and international organizations are only beginning to understand is how sexual slavery funds larger criminal networks to pursue other illicit endeavors. The cases of the U.S. in Korea and the U.N. in Bosnia-Herzegovina both illustrate the demand for military prostitution as well as its criminal links. It is important to note that one cannot generalize all military or peacekeeping missions based on these two case studies, however these cases do shine some interesting light on the effects international troops have on a post-conflict environment in terms of sexual slavery and criminal connections. As long as there is a demand for sex trafficking, then the trade will always exist in some form or another. The job for governments and international organizations is to ensure that they are doing everything they can to prevent this demand, especially when it comes to their troops stationed in unstable areas. It is important to understand how sex trafficking can open the door for other types of criminal activities, which may further undermine the security, and the stabilization process of that region. Due to the severe consequences of sex trafficking in post-conflict regions, governments and organizations must be prepared to deter sex trafficking through mandatory education and judicial accountability. The U.S. has already taken progressive steps toward combating sex trafficking by implementing mandatory training at all levels of U.S. personnel and creating codes of conduct which if not upheld, can result in imprisonment. These policies may offer some sense of trust and justice for nations who host the U.S. military, that the U.S. will hold their own accountable. This can only lead to better relations within the international community as well as counteracting potential business exploits for criminal organizations who may wish to profit off the demand of U.S. military troops.
The U.N. in contrast, continues to struggle with the issue of peacekeepers engaging in sex trafficking as well as other SEA and only having the power to send them back to their home country. The complex system of the U.N. does not offer an ideal plan for implementation of their numerous policies against sex trafficking. There needs to be more political will from the member states and the TCC’s to put these policies into practice. If the U.N. continues to operate with no set action in place to combat the demand they create for sex trafficking, then it will further undermine their credibility and perhaps make them unwelcome in post-conflict nations. In conclusion, the international community must be aware of how their troops create a demand for sex trafficking — a crime that not only violates human rights but opens the door to other criminal activities which can continue to destabilize a region. Military troops and governments needs to be aware that what may appear as “harmless prostitution” in a post-conflict area can actually be a dangerous step towards other criminal threats. This is particularly important to understand for troops that are stationed in an area for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid or stabilization — because they undermine their own mission by engaging in prostitution (which is often sex trafficking). Sex trafficking is not just a gender issue that affects women and children — it is also a major security issue that affects entire countries and therefore that needs to be taken more seriously.
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