Human Traffic Watch

Archive for the ‘Prostitution’ Category

Members of France’s Parliament vote to support law criminalizing sex buyers

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Social Justice on December 3, 2013 at 10:00 am

On November 29, 2013, French MPs voted in support of a version of the Swedish law on prostitution that criminalizes the purchase of sex with a fine of 1500 ($2040 US). The fine is doubled for a second offense. The French Parliament also repealed criminalization of people selling sex, and proposed setting aside 20 million for programs helping women to exit prostitution. 

This vote is part of a global trend that challenges buying sex and understands as the Swedish law does that buying sex causes harm and that those in prostitution need social and economic support to escape. In France, 90% of those in prostitution are very poor, pimped or trafficked. A 2011 study by researchers from Germany’s Goettingen and Heidelberg universities and the London School of Economics, which assessed data from 150 countries, concluded that legalizing prostitution led to increased trafficking. The proposed law will be voted on by the National Assembly and then put to a vote in the French Senate.

Since prostitution is an activity that must be advertised, it is not going to be “driven underground” as critics of the bill allege. Maud Olivier, a feminist lawmaker who supports the bill, blasted the “hypocrisy” of critics, “One prostitute declares herself free and the slavery of others becomes respectable and acceptable?”

Our bodies are not merchandise

“Prostitution is Violence, Vote for Abolition” and “Our bodies are not merchandise”


Inside the brutal and hopeless world of Mumbai’s trafficked teenage sex slaves

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Guddi was tricked into prostitution by a neighbour who promised her work in Mumbai to help feed her struggling family. Photograph: Hazel Thompson

It was pitch black as I stumbled through the labyrinth of the dark corridors of a large brothel house in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s notorious red-light district. I’d been told to hide my camera under my scarf, not to speak and not to make eye contact with anyone. With my hand I felt the filthy walls dripping with condensation from the intense heat.

Eventually, guided by my Indian fixer, I came to a dimly lit door at the end of a corridor. Like a prison guard, an ageing madam came to the front of the brothel and unlocked the large padlock with her set of keys. I was taken into the reception area of the brothel, the space where the customers are taken to select a girl. In the ceiling I could see a small, open trap door. When the madam had disappeared, I climbed up a wooden ladder and pushed through the small gap.

Suddenly I was face to face with a “box cage”. I knew what I was looking at. The prostitutes had told me of the caged rooms and boxes they had been held in for months, even years, when they were first taken and trafficked to the red-light district. The madams would keep the girls like slaves in the cages until they were “broken”, to the extent that they would not try to run away. The girls told me they never knew if it was night or day. They were only taken out to eat or to be given to a customer for sex. For years I had wanted to photograph these cages, to prove that these places actually exist.

Source: The Guardian

NY state shifts judicial approach to prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

New York is creating the nation’s first statewide system of courts to help prostitutes escape a life of exploitation and violence and move on to productive lives, the state’s chief judge said.

“We have come to recognize that the vast majority of children and adults charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation,” Judge Jonathan Lippman told attorneys, advocates for women and service providers at a breakfast meeting Wednesday in Manhattan.

“Human trafficking is a crime that inflicts terrible harm on the most vulnerable members of society: victims of abuse, the poor, children, runaways, immigrants,” said Lippman, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. “It is in every sense a form of modern-day slavery. We cannot tolerate this practice in a civilized society, nor can we afford to let victims of trafficking slip between the cracks of our justice system.”

While human trafficking includes labor trafficking, nearly 80 percent of victims in New York are trafficked for sex, Lippman said.

Most are U.S. citizens, Lippman said.

“It is not just halfway across the globe. It is around the corner from all of us,” he said.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Sex trafficking group wants ‘sugar daddy’ billboard gone

In Human Trafficking, Prostitution on July 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

An Alabama group working with victims of sex trafficking want Birmingham officials to get rid of a billboard telling girls to “date a sugar daddy.”

Alexa James, director of development at Wellhouse, which offers shelter and transitional housing to women who were victims of sexual trafficking, said she was shocked to see the billboard that went up June 8 that seems to be advertising more than just employment, WIAT-TV, Birmingham, reported Monday.

“Hey students, need a summer job? Date a sugar daddy!” the billboard reads.

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BOOKS: The Brothel Next Door

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

The underground sex trade is closer to our everyday world than we may think.

A brothel may be hidden inside that shabby building a few blocks away from home; the kitchen maid of our favourite Chinese restaurant may have gone into sex work to earn the money she desperately needs; a foreign student at the university we attend may do part-time sex work to support his or her studies.

These and other realities are investigated by journalist and writer Hsiao-Hung Pai in her new book “Invisible: Britain’s Migrant Sex Workers”, to be published in the United States this November.

Working undercover on exhausting shifts as a housekeeper in several brothels all over the U.K., Pai came in contact with the whole range of human stories that compose the sex trade: prostitutes, pimps, housekeepers and clients.

She collected their stories and created a book that highlights the complexity of this phenomenon, with all its political, social and human factors that sex workers themselves are not always aware of.

“They are not necessarily aware of all the factors, but … they are aware of the choices they have made in difficult circumstances and the … exploitation they are confronted with as a result of institutional failures,” Hsiao-Hung Pai told IPS, “They are also aware of their collective powerlessness.”

Source: IEDE

Foreign Women Turning to Prostitution on Streets of London

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 24, 2013 at 9:16 am
A Soho doorway leads to a brothel (Reuters)

A Soho doorway leads to a brothel (Reuters)

A significant proportion said that they were from Romania and were sending money home to their children and families, according to a report by the Eaves for Women charity.

They were said to be soliciting men at the entrance to hotels in areas popular with tourists, such as Park Lane.

“This group of women tend to sell sex on the street in groups and are highly mobile. Some are transported by taxi and privately owned vans to on-street sites known as hotspots for street prostitution,” said the study, with prostitutes spotted leaving cash at makeshift drop sites.

Some prostitutes appeared to be as young as 14.

There were also accounts of “male minders” watching over the women. In one area of London there was a “Godfather-like” figure who controlled many of the Romanian women.

Source: IB Times

Oregon bill would target johns who pay for sex with minors

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would toughen penalties for johns who solicit sex from underage prostitutes as part of a broader push to crack down on child sex trafficking in the state.

The bill’s provisions are still being hammered out, but the intent is to impose harsher punishments on people who seek sex with children.

A fierce disagreement has emerged, however, over just how harsh those punishments should be. Child safety advocates say johns should be charged with a felony on their first offense, but critics say that’s too harsh.

The bill could come up for a vote in the House next week.

Quashing demand for child prostitutes would make the sex trafficking industry less profitable for pimps, resulting in fewer victims being brought into the sex trade, said Portland Police Officer Mike Gallagher, who has a long history of fighting prostitution.

Source: The Republic

Survivors of the Sex Trade of India and Nepal

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

Every year, thousands of women are sold and trafficked across the border from Nepal to India. They eventually end up in India’s brothels where they face an extremely hard life. This short documentary shares the true stories of three survivors of human trafficking.

Nigerians arrested in Spain accused of sex-trafficking

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

According to the El Pais Spanish newspaper, police on Sunday said they had broken up a major sex-trafficking ring that would bring in Nigerian women via the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and put them to work as prostitutes in Malaga and Barcelona.

The investigation began when a woman filed a complaint in the French city of Nantes. Six people, all Nigerian nationals, have been in arrested in Spain.

According to police, the traffickers would comb the streets of Benin City, Nigeria, meeting women with the offer of bringing them to Europe and promising them jobs and housing.

Source: Euro Weekly News

Woman says man drew her into sex trade at age 16

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on June 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Cherish was barely 16 when she met Tyrone McMillian on July 4, 2007, at McGovern Park.

Eleven days later, she was earning him money at a Minneapolis strip club, she testified in federal court Friday.

She is one of four minors and one adult McMillian, 30, is charged with trafficking from 2006 to 2009. He is the latest in a string of federal prosecutions aimed at breaking up the city’s burgeoning sex trafficking industry.

In short responses to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Wall’s questions, Cherish, who was not identified by last name in court, recounted her months in McMillian’s “stable.”

She said her best friend Jazmine introduced her to McMillian, who Cherish found handsome and “very charming.”

“I thought he had a lot of things going on. He had a nice car, he was rappin’ and stuff,” she said.

He also promised her a car and her own place, she said, and that was why she was willing to give him the $500 to $600 a night she said she made dancing at the Airport Lounge and during a week in Minneapolis.

She moved into McMillian’s house in Brown Deer, with Jazmine and an older woman, Jessica. Cherish told the jury she was aware that the other two prostituted for McMillian, who insisted they call him “Daddy.”

Source: JS Online

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