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Somaly Mam Sex Slave Story Revealed to be Fabricated

Somaly Mam Sex Slave Story Revealed to be Fabricated.

Somaly Mam using fake sex trafficking victims to commit fraud

By  and  – October 12, 2013
Meas Ratha was a teenager when she appeared on French television telling a tragic tale of how she was sold to a brothel in Phnom Penh and imprisoned as a young sex slave. Now, almost 16 years since her story was first broadcast on the France 2 channel, Ms. Ratha and members of her family have revealed that her story of abuse was carefully fabricated and rehearsed, on the instruction of Cambodia’s then-emerging anti-sex trafficking celebrity activist Somaly Mam.

In June 1998, Somaly Mam stood on the stage of Spain’s Campoamor Theater shoulder to shoulder with six of the world’s most celebrated women as she received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. Six months prior to winning the award, and sharing that podium with, among others, Emma Bonino, a former European Commissioner for humanitarian aid, and Olayinka Koso-Thomas, a Nigerian-born doctor who had campaigned for decades against the circumcision of women, Ms. Mam had been virtually unknown.

Six months earlier, in January 1998, Ms. Mam was propelled from relative obscurity into the international media spotlight largely owing to the harrowing on-camera testimony of the young Meas Ratha and other alleged victims of Cambodia’s child sex industry.

Meas Ratha stands outside her home near Phnom Penh last month. (Simon Marks/The Cambodia Daily)

Meas Ratha stands outside her home near Phnom Penh last month. (Simon Marks/The Cambodia Daily)

Ms. Mam’s work as president of her own Phnom Penh-based NGO, Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Precaire (Afesip), was being featured on French television as part of the popular weekly show “Envoyé Spécial.”

The documentary opens with the camera focused on Ms. Ratha, who was then a chubby teenager of about 14-years-old from Takeo province. Ms. Mam is seated at the young girl’s side as she tells a dismal tale of sexual slavery in an unnamed brothel somewhere in Phnom Penh.

“My name is Meas Ratha and I am 14 years old. I was born in the province of Takeo and I have seven brothers and sisters. My family is very poor. My father has disappeared. One year ago my mother fell seriously ill. I was completely distraught. I was very young and I didn’t know what to do,” the young Ms. Ratha says to the camera. She then cries and receives a comforting squeeze of support from Ms. Mam.

“They locked me up in a room and at that time I knew I had been deceived,” she continues.

The documentary goes on to explain how the young girl had been promised a job as a waitress in Phnom Penh, but wound up a captive in a brothel. Later, she is filmed playing musical chairs, skipping rope, singing alongside other girls being cared for inside the Afesip center and helping Ms. Mam treat an AIDS patient called Tom Dy.

Sixteen years since the documentary was televised, Ms. Ratha—now 32 years old and married—said her testimony for the France 2 channel was fabricated and scripted for her by Ms. Mam as a means of drumming up support for the organization.

“The video that you see, everything that I put in is not my story,” Ms. Ratha said in an interview last month. Ms. Ratha, who was simultaneously anxious and determined to let people know the truth, said that she did not want to cause trouble for Ms. Mam’s NGO, which had provided an education for her, but that she could no longer continue a lie that had followed her for half her life.

“Somaly said that…if I want to help another woman I have to do [the interview] very well,” Ms. Ratha said.

“You know, my reputation has been lost because of this video,” said Ms. Ratha, who speaks competent English, adding that she had struggled to live with being typecast as a former sex slave since agreeing to tell the fabricated story.

“Everybody saw me and say ‘I a prostitute. Her mother sold her.’ They say like this. Everybody looks down on me.”

Now, Ms. Ratha lives a simple life with her two-year-old daughter and husband, who is a pharmacist and sells medicine out of their home.

Asked if she wanted the public in France to know the truth about her life, Ms. Ratha was unhesitating.

“I want them to know too. But if they know, Afesip will be in trouble. I don’t want Afesip to be in trouble, so that it can help other girls,” she added.

Today, Ms. Mam is at the center of the global campaign against the trafficking of children and women into the sex trade. As president of her hugely successful foundation in New York, she rubs shoulders with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and actress Susan Sarandon, both of whom are members of the Somaly Mam Foundation’s board. In 2009, Ms. Mam was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Her foundation raises millions each year, and Ms. Mam is a jet-setting ambassador for her cause.

She owes much of her fame to the harrowing and brutal stories of girls just like Ms. Ratha, who have relayed to audiences across the world painful stories of sexual slavery in order to raise money and awareness of the Somaly Mam Foundation.

But the fabrication of Ms. Ratha’s sex slave story is only the latest incident of false information to emerge from Ms. Mam and her organizations.

Last year, Ms. Mam finally admitted, following public scrutiny, that she had made false claims in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, in which she said that eight girls she rescued from the sex industry had been killed by the Cambodian army after they raided her organization’s shelter. Police officials and Ms. Mam’s ex-husband also last year strongly denied long-standing and highly publicized claims by Ms. Mam that her daughter was kidnapped by human traffickers in 2006 when she was 14 years old. The traffickers, she claimed, had videotaped her daughter being gang-raped in retaliation for her work with victims of the sex trade. Police said they were baffled by the claims, while Ms. Mam’s former partner said the story was a publicity stunt to raise funds for her organization.

A separate Cambodia Daily investigation conducted last year also uncovered that one of the Somaly Mam Foundation’s most highly-publicized sex trafficking victims, Long Pros, had fabricated her harrowing story of gruesome mutilation at the hands of a brothel owner. In numerous interviews and in a prime-time television documentary, Ms. Pros said she was imprisoned as a young teenager at a brothel in Phnom Penh where she was held as a sex slave and had her eye gouged out with a knife for refusing to have sex with customers. However, medical records and interviews with Ms. Pros’ parents and her eye surgeon showed she had her eye removed in hospital because of a tumor that developed in her childhood. Ms. Pros’ parents said she was sent directly from their home to Ms. Mam’s organization in Phnom Penh simply to get an education and she had never spent any time in a brothel.

The Somaly Mam Foundation’s press office in New York declined a request to interview Ms. Mam for this latest article. Ms. Mam also declined to be interviewed in relation to false comments to the U.N. General Assembly, the alleged fabrication of the kidnap of her daughter, and the alleged fabrication regarding Ms. Pros’ eye.

“We don’t know why, nor will we speculate on why Meas Ratha has allegedly made the claims that you report,” Afesip’s communication team said in an email.

“What are clearly facts is that in the 15 years since the filming of that documentary, the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) and AFESIP have led successful programs to help thousands of young women and girls escape from sex slavery and rebuild a life of dignity,” the organization said.

“Those women who choose to publicly share their personal stories about sex trafficking are courageous and strong, and we are saddened when forces work to silence their voices and seek to distract from building awareness of this critical global problem,” it continued.

Afesip declined to provide any information regarding the brothel from which Ms. Ratha was allegedly rescued, or where her case was filed with police. Afesip also did not provide such information related to the alleged mutilation of Ms. Pros or the alleged kidnap or Ms. Mam’s daughter.

The Somaly Mam Foundation also helps with the Voices for Change program, which is run by Sydney-based non-profit Project Futures—a charity that raises awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Australia and Southeast Asia.

The organization launched an investigation into Voices for Change after The Cambodia Daily’s investigation of Ms. Pros, who is a member of the program. When asked about the status of the review, the press office said that it was still in progress.

At Ms. Ratha’s family home in Takeo province, her father, Kong Tith, a bony man in his sixties who has kept his family afloat by doing everything from logging to building houses, said a relative had proposed that he send two of his daughters to Afesip back in 1997 because he was poor and unable to properly care for all of his seven children.

“[Ratha] went to the NGO run by Somaly. My cousin saw that I was poor, so he took two of my children to Somaly’s organization. They were not mistreated” by the NGO, he said. But, Mr. Tith said, when he learned of his daughter’s participation in the documentary, he traveled to Phnom Penh to confront Ms. Mam.

“I was the one who followed the case by going to the NGO and asking them about it,” he said in an interview last month.

“This was just an opportunist taking advantage of my child,” Mr. Tith said of the false claims his daughter made in the documentary, adding that he did not take his complaint further than Afesip because the organization had helped to educate his two daughters and provided them with shelter.

Ms. Ratha still remembers the fuss her father kicked-up because of the false story she told in the documentary.

“My father brought my relatives and police to the NGO and they really freaked Afesip out,” Ms. Ratha said. “In the end they talked and understood the issue, so the problem was solved.”

“I told him, ‘father don’t you worry [about the documentary], it is the NGO’s rule.’”

Flicking through photo albums of her son’s recent wedding, Ms. Ratha’s mother, Meas Sokhom, said she was shocked to learn of her daughter’s appearance on television back in 1998. Ms. Sokhom described her daughter’s childhood as difficult due to the family’s poverty. But not one exposed to the horrors of the sex industry or slavery in a brothel.

Ratha, she said, was a happy child, and out of all her sons and daughters, she showed the most natural intelligence. It was that natural smartness that they had hoped Afesip would cultivate, which was the reason they let her go to the organization in the first place, she said.

“We cannot say such a thing [sex slavery] happened to my daughter. We are her parents and we lived here the whole time,” she said. “If these things did not happen, why did they document her life like this?” she asked.

“I asked her about it [the documentary], but she did not say anything. She just stayed quiet.”

A 30-minute drive from Ms. Ratha’s childhood village, her sister, Meas Sokha, lives in a modern two-story home with a pond in the back yard for breeding fish. Ms. Sokha has two children and spends her days as a housewife. The village where she lives is a postcard perfect portrait of rural Cambodia surrounded by fluorescent green rice fields and tree-covered hills on the horizon. But she remembers harder times, when her family would sometimes have to go without food in the evening.

Ms. Sokha was the other child in the family to go to Afesip with Ms. Ratha in 1997. The two sisters slept, ate and worked together for approximately six months at Afesip in the hope of gaining an education and finding a job. At no point during their journey from their rural home in Takeo to the NGO’s center in Phnom Penh was her sister sold to a brothel, she said.

“We were desperately poor but I was not abused. She [Ratha] wasn’t either. We are from here and were sent there [to Afesip] because we were poor and did not study much,” Ms. Sokha said. “[Ratha] is now educated, so she can work at anything.”

Ms. Sokha said that she remembered how staff at Afesip had taken an interest in her sister, as she was a confident speaker.

“They only filmed her because she was smarter than me. She was better at talking than me. I was no good at that,” she said. “The point is we are good girls, but they say that we are not good and that we were sold” to brothels, she said.

“She was not raped or sold. She was not abused but we were very poor.”

Doubt over Ms. Ratha’s story emerged shortly after the France 2 show was broadcast. French national and long-time resident of Cambodia Marie Christine Uguen cared for Ratha when she was a teenager in the late 1990s. Ms. Uguen said she had been deeply shocked at seeing Ms. Ratha appear on television telling a version of her life she had never heard before, despite living with her for months. She saw the documentary on France 2 while she was visiting Battambang province on a work trip.

“I turn on the television to see an ‘Envoyé Spécial’ on Afesip. And there I see Ratha on television speaking, squirming and crying and Somaly who takes her hand,” Ms. Uguen said.

“I did not understand at all where this story had come from. I sat Ratha down in front of me and asked her what is this story about? What have I just seen on the television?

“…Then Ratha tells me, ‘Aunty, basically, I know you are not going to agree, but Somaly asked me to go to a home in Tuol Kok with several other girls and I was the one who acted the best, so she asked me and it was me who she chose,’” Ms. Uguen said.
“I said to her ‘What’s that, you did a rehearsal?’ And she told me ‘Yes we did a rehearsal in a home in Tuol Kok and at the end it was me who was selected…’”

Pierre Legros, Ms. Mam’s former husband and one of Afesip’s original founders, denied knowing anything about Ms. Ratha’s coached story for the French TV crew. He said that his job at Afesip in 1997 was not to manage the victims but to help raise funds for the organization and set up offices in other countries in the region.

Mr. Legros said that Afesip at the time cared for both victims of sex trafficking and other girls who were taken in because they were considered to be at high risk of falling into prostitution.

“Could Somaly have taken her in as a preventive case and afterwards say she has been trafficked? Yes, that is possible,” Mr. Legros said.

“Ask Somaly. She had direct contact with Khmer people (victims and family.) I was only managing the structure,” he said in a subsequent email.

Back at her home on the outskirts of Phnom Penh earlier this month, Ms. Ratha prepared to finally watch the documentary she had appeared in 16 years ago but had never actually seen. Watching a DVD recording of the documentary on a laptop computer at her home, Ms. Ratha was visibly moved at seeing the young girls from Afesip and her past.

On the screen appeared Srey Veng, “13 years old, raped, beaten and sold to different clients for two years,” the voice-over in French says. Next on screen was 12-year-old Sokha, “the youngest, sold and raped at the beginning by her step father,” the commentary continues.

Ms. Ratha looked perplexed. Sokha, known then as A’tour, was not supposed to have been in the documentary, an amazed Ms. Ratha said.

According to Ms. Ratha, Ms. Mam had told her that the story she was to recount for the filmmakers was true, but was the life-story of another young girl, Sokha, who had been too traumatized to speak about her past.

Ms. Ratha said that she agreed with Ms. Mam to tell Sokha’s story because then it was not really like lying. That Sokha was also featured in the same documentary telling a totally different story of rape and brothels was a huge shock to Ms. Ratha.

“I don’t understand why she is in the video,” Ms. Ratha said. “Somaly lied to me…. She said this story is [Sokha’s] story,” Ms. Ratha said.

“At that time, I was not happy since what I was saying was not my true story. But I cried because I felt sorry for [Sokha],” she said. “I don’t understand.”

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Once Coached for TV, Now Asked to Keep Quiet about Sex Trafficking Hoax

By  and  – November 4, 2013

The woman who claims she was coached by global anti-sex trafficking advocate Somaly Mam to fabricate a story of sexual slavery for French television in 1998 says she has been approached by a Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) staff member, who has begged her to stop talking to the media.

Meas Ratha, 32, revealed last month that as a young teenager she was selected by Ms. Mam to appear on the France 2 television channel in 1998 after undergoing rehearsals with a group of other young girls to falsely recount how she was sold to a brothel owner in Phnom Penh.

Days after her revelation was published on October 12, Meas Ratha said she received her first visit from the SMF staffer.

“There was a girl…came to me begging with tears to stop speaking to the media. Of course whatever I told you was true—that I was filmed to lie to the world and that I was a victim even though I was not,” Ms. Ratha said in a telephone interview on October 24.

“But now I can no longer speak,” she said.

Ms. Ratha identified the visitor as Sina Vann, a longtime employee of the SMF in Cambodia and program manager for the organization’s Voices for Change (VFC) program. The VFC program is run by SMF and aims at giving a voice to victims of sex trafficking in order to raise awareness about the issue.

The second visit by Ms. Vann was on October 23, said Ms. Ra­tha, adding that the SMF staff member had stressed that speaking out about her past could greatly damage the reputation of Ms. Mam’s organization.

“She was not here to intimidate me. But she begged me and cried in front of me and said that it would be a disaster for the organization if I keep talking to the media. She also asked me not to talk to other journalists if they approached me,” Ms. Ratha said.

“If I keep talking it will bring trouble to everyone: myself, the organization and you [journalists]. I used to stay inside the [SMF] organization so I want to help it,” she said, adding that she would heed the call and no longer speak about the fabricated story from 1998.

Ms. Ratha, who is now a streetside food vendor to garment factory workers on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, said she was admitted to Afesip in 1997 because her family of nine was struggling to survive.

Her parents and sister—who also stayed with Ms. Ratha inside an Afesip training center—backed-up Ms. Ratha’s claim that she was never enslaved as a prostitute inside a brothel in Phnom Penh.

Ms. Vann could not be contacted for comment.

Afesip CEO Sao Chhoeurth said on October 24 that he was not aware of any visit having been made to Ms. Ratha.

Hayle Welgus, policy and liaison manager for SMF in Cam­bodia, said Ms. Vann had not been sent by the organization in an official capacity.

“SMF hasn’t sent Sina [Vann] in an official capacity so I need to speak to her to see if she visited on a personal level,” Ms. Welgus said on October 24.

Contacted on Friday, Ms. Wel­gus declined to comment and re­ferred questions to the communications department at SMF.

Asked about Ms. Vann’s alleged visit to Ms. Ratha, the SMF communication’s department declined to comment.

“The statement that was sent to you previously is all that we have to share on this matter,” the communications department at SMF said in an email.

The SMF communications department was referring to a statement in which Afesip said in October that it would not speculate on why Ms. Ratha had denied the story she had told France 2.

Afesip has also declined to say from which brothel Ms. Ratha had been allegedly rescued or to which department of the police her case of alleged enslavement and rescue had been filed.

Though Ms. Ratha insists the visit from the SMF’s Ms. Vann was only beseeching, she admits that she is now unwilling to speak out about the truth behind her story due to any repercussions that could stem from harming Afesip’s reputation in Cambodia.

After The Cambodia Daily reported its findings in October 2012 into the story of Long Pros, one of SMF’s most publicized members of the Voices for Change program, the young woman’s father, Long Hon, said he was paid a visit from Afesip staff who had also asked him to cease speaking to the media.

Ms. Pros had long told a horrific story of having an eye gouged out at the hands of a brothel owner. However, medical rec­ords show that Ms. Pros’ eye was re­moved by an eye surgeon in hospital—the victim of a large benign tumor that covered one of her eyes for many years during childhood.

Ms. Pros was only sent to Afesip after undergoing her operation at the Takeo Eye Hospital, her parents said, a claim that was also confirmed by medical rec­ords and images obtained showing Ms. Pros’ medically-removed eye.

While members of the SMF staff now appear reluctant for Ms. Ratha and the family of Ms. Pros to continue speaking to reporters, a huge amount of Ms. Mam’s success and global fame stems from the highly public testimony and many media interviews conducted by the young women inside her organization who tell harrowing tales of sex trafficking.

The high-media profile of the SMF, and support from board members such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, has helped the foundation’s revenues and expenditures rocket in recent years.

In 2011, the latest year for which figures are available, spending by the SMF increased to $3.53 million. The SMF’s annual fund­raising gala in New York on Oc­tober 23 was a star-studded event where tickets for some tables went for $100,000.

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Anti-Sex Trafficking Aid Worker Claims Fabricated Fake Victim Stories Are Common. Somaly Mam, Long Pros

By  – November 7, 2013

Weighing in on revelations that fabricated sexual slavery stories were used to promote the work of Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Precaire (Afesip) in Cambodia, which was founded by global anti-trafficking activist Somaly Mam, a longtime aid worker said that staff at the organization were aware that some victims were not in the desperate situations they claimed to be.

Pierre Fallavier, who said he advised Afesip between 1999 and 2007, wrote in a series of recent emails that from the beginning of his relationship with the organization, concerns were raised by staff that information on victims that was being disseminated by Afesip was “exaggerated.”

Mr. Fallavier, who holds a Phd from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has worked for NGOs and multiple U.N. agencies in Africa and Asia, also claimed that, like Afesip, many aid groups create “composite” stories of the lives of people being helped by their organizations as a means to raise funds.

“I started working as an adviser to Afesip in 1999, and stopped in 2007. From the start, people around me—all Khmers—were saying the stories Somaly told about herself and some of the girls were exaggerated. At that time I did not want to listen, because I could see the good Afesip was doing. The level of violence against women then was higher than anywhere else in Southeast Asia,” Mr. Fallavier wrote in an email.

“A few courageous individuals then set up organizations to rescue such women. Among them, Afesip decided it would also lead a ‘political’ struggle to get the rights of women and children recognized…. [S]o at that time, what counted were results. Everyone knew that some victims lied and were not in the desperate situations they claimed to be, but they were still in so much need of help that it did not seem to matter,” he wrote.

“And then, at the same time, donors were getting an interest, and were sending their people with crews of journalists to take pictures and extracts selling stories. I used to tell Somaly to send them away, that all they wanted were exotic stories of violence and sex, with the picture of a beautiful hero saving children so they could sell their papers. But they came with the funders, or with promises their articles and re­ports would help advocate for the rights of women. And they were the first ones to manipulate the images and the stories.”

Mr. Fallavier said that the recent spotlight on the Somaly Mam Foundation, following revelations that at least two alleged victims of the sex trade helped by her organization had fabricated stories, should be extended to include many other humanitarian groups.

“[I] find it unfair to point solely at Afesip for fabricating stories about its typical beneficiaries. This has been and still is the approach that all major international NGOs use, in Cambodia and elsewhere,” he wrote.

“They take bits and parts of the life stories of different beneficiaries and make up a ‘typical’ sob story that they use to raise funds with.”

Mr. Fallavier, who worked for Handicap International (H.I.), said that he left the organization because of such a practice in 2000 because he believed it to be “unethical.”

“But the point is that all NGOs do so, that they are unapologetic, and that it is well known to anyone working in that sector,” he continued.

“Just take one of the stories from Cambodia that Oxfam, World Vision, Care, etc. use in their advertising campaigns ‘at home,’ and try to trace them. You will see how the majority of these stories are ‘composite’ of different realities,” Mr. Fallavier claimed.

“They justify it very bluntly: This is marketing they need to raise money, and it is only with extreme stories that they will get people to give the cash they need to undertake their work. In fact, in many cases, back home, private marketing companies are in charge of the advertising, and they sell NGO work in the same way they would with any other service.”

Responding to Mr. Fallavier’s claims, the communications department at the Somaly Mam Foundation said it would not comment as Mr. Fallavier had never held an official position with Afesip.

“[W]e can’t speculate about allegations made by someone who had no formal affiliation with the organization,” the communications department said in a statement.

“Mr. Fallavier has been a good friend of Somaly Mam and supportive to Afesip Cambodia on a personal and unofficial capacity. He has never held any official positions or roles at Afesip Cambodia. We do not know when his relationship with Afesip and Somaly Mam began, yet it is an amicable and supportive one that still continues today,” the statement continues.

Pierre Legros, who helped found Afesip in 1996 and is the ex-husband of Ms. Mam, confirmed Mr. Fallavier had advised Afesip.

At one time, Afesip’s funding from the European Union (E.U.) was sent through H.I. and Mr. Fallavier had acted as an intermediary between the two organizations, Mr. Legros said.

“In 1999 we received money from the European Commission. This money we could not receive directly as we had to pass through an NGO that had an agreement with the E.U. So we received money passed to us by an intermediary NGO. It was Handicap International that was chosen to be the intermediary with Afesip,” Mr. Legros said.

“Pierre Fallavier was hired by Handicap International to serve as someone who was responsible for the programs run by Afesip using Handicap International mon­ey. He was the adviser to Afesip in making the link be­tween Handicap In­ter­national and Afesip.”

Mr. Fallavier’s emails followed a recent story revealing that a 14-year-old girl being rehabilitated by Afesip had been coached in 1998 to tell a fabricated story of sexual slavery in a documentary for French television. Other stories promoted by Afesip of sex slavery, trafficking and even killing have also proven to be false.

In his emails on the subject of victim fabrication in the aid industry, Mr. Fallavier reserved some of his harshest criticism for Handicap International France (HIF).

According to Mr. Fallavier, in 1999, when he was working in Cam­bodia with HIF, the organization launched a campaign to send hundreds of thousands of letters to raise funds from individuals in Europe using stories of child victims of land mines. The campaign, run out of HIF’s headquarters in France, gained im­mense traction because of its focus on child landmine victims. However, child victims of landmines represented only a tiny pro­portion of the work HIF was actually carrying out in Cambodia—most of its work was in roads, irrigation and access to water.

Though he does not claim that the landmine stories were fabricated, Mr. Fallavier said they greatly exaggerated the extent of the problem.

“I learned that if work with children victims of landmines represented less than ten percent of HI operations worldwide, the fundraising campaign that showed HI largely as supporting these children brought in 90 percent of the private funds it used to complement institutional funding in all its operations,” Mr. Fallavier said.

“So, somehow HIF was collecting the majority of its funds on a belief they built among the public that the money would be used to support these children,” though Mr. Fallavier admits that a disclaimer was written in tiny print at the bottom of H.I.’s call for funds.

Arnaud Richard, head of the Federal Information team for H.I., said last week that the organization “does not fabricate stories” when publicizing its work in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“The stories are personal stories which give the general public an insight into both the wider situation and the lives of many of our beneficiaries. This enables us to raise the awareness of the public and private donors in countries where HI is represented by national associations (UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and USA). We would also point out that beneficiaries are in­formed of HI’s actions and are asked to give their permission to use their image,” he said.

“Several people who have worked for our organization for many years remember that Mr. Fallavier once worked for Handicap International. However, he left the organization more than 13 years ago, and we do not currently have any further information on his reasons for leaving Handicap International,” he said.

Mr. Richard said that H.I. promotes its work abroad through a team of four people dedicated to gathering testimonies and information from its operations and programs.

These four people, dubbed the “Federal Information team,” regularly travel to the field to meet with beneficiaries. The stories can then be used as part of the organization’s attempts to raise funds.

Asked about Mr. Fallavier’s claims that H.I.’s fundraising techniques were misleading the public, Mr. Richard said the organization engages in focused campaigns in order to draw the attention of donors to its activities.

“These campaigns were indeed run during the period you have mentioned in order to raise funds,” Mr. Richard said referring to H.I.’s campaign carried out during 1999 and 2000.

“However, to be totally clear, at no point during these fundraising campaigns did the organization state that the money collected would be specifically used for our actions in Cambodia. We are always careful to point out that donations are used to help people with disabilities and to improve their living conditions. For example, we might highlight the cost of fitting a disabled person with an orthopedic device or providing them technical aids in order to give donors an idea of the potential impact of their donation.

“In order to avoid misunderstandings on this point, however, the documents sent out to donors specifically state that the testimonies are offered as examples only. The reply slip also clearly states that, by making a donation, the donor ‘authorizes Handicap International to allocate its aid to the most useful and urgent activity.’”

Mr. Richard also took issue with Mr. Fallavier’s interpretation of H.I.’s work.

“We strongly refute the idea that these stories were invented or that we misled donors regarding the use of their donations. Although we are sure that Mr. Fallavier—who appears to have made a good impression on those who worked with him at Han­dicap International—is acting in good faith, his interpretation of an activity of which he has very little knowledge—fund­raising—is totally false,” he said.

Other organizations in Cambo­dia working with women and children also denied Mr. Fallavier’s claim that they engage in exaggerating stories, and that any stories on victimhood are presented accurately using real, consenting people or composites of real life situations.

Talmage Payne, CEO of Hagar International, said the practice of using victim testimonies in order to sell an NGO’s work abroad raises serious questions due to the pervasiveness of using images in fundraising that fully identify the face and names of sexual abuse or trafficked minors.

“This violates a number of best practice protocols about protecting clients and many national laws—even if the story is true,” Mr. Payne said.

He added that the Somaly Mam Foundation’s use of a 14-year-old alleged victim of sex slavery could even be in violation of Cambodia’s Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, which states that “Newspapers and all other mass media shall be prohibited from publishing or broadcasting or disseminating any information which can lead to public knowledge of identities of victims in the offences stipulated in this law.”

“The well known and well regarded [NGO] brands are very careful about this with strict protection standards. It’s a problem on the fringes. It’s not a norm or mainstream,” Mr. Payne said.

Mr. Payne said that in his organization’s publications a researcher may create a composite case study of many stories in order to “create victimology of certain types of abuse and recovery,” all of which is disclosed in any writing on the matter. He added that all stories are based on the subject’s consent and that identifying images are never used in cases of trafficking or sexual abuse.

Andrew Moore, country director for Save the Children, also said fabricating victims’ stories is not practiced by his organization.

“Save the Children does not fabricate stories for fundraising purposes,” he said. “We adhere to high standards of child protection and child safeguarding in gathering stories from the field, and all our staff are trained on child safeguarding.

“Our publicity work is done in-house, with thorough approval protocols that ensure that only factual reports that safeguard the interests of children are released.”

In a recent article, Sebastien Marot, executive director of Friends International, an NGO that helps disadvantaged children living in urban areas in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Honduras, Mexico, Egypt and Burma, said the situation regarding the fabrication of victims’ stories had arisen as “a direct consequence of the interconnected actions of the child protection organizations, the media, the donors and the general public; all wanting the best for these children, but instead turning them into victims.”

“[A] large number of organizations get sucked into using children to raise funds: making them talk about the abuse they survived in front of a camera, having their picture in a pitiful situation published for everyone to see, allowing non-professional visitors into their centers [like orphanage tourism],” Mr. Marot wrote.

“In worst cases, the truth is distorted or the stories invented to attract more compassion and money,” Mr. Marot said in the article published on his organization’s website.

“The impact on the lives of these children is terrible: if they come from an abusive situation, such a process retraumatizes them and in any case it stigmatizes them forever.”

Mr. Marot said the media was complicit, and searched out and published emotionally-charged stories in order to attract readers. Moreover, donors tend to react to these stories.

“As regulators of the money it is easy, if specific guidelines are not in place, to fund projects on a purely emotional basis. For example we have witnessed a rapid increase of orphanages in Cambodia (funded by local and foreign private donors), despite the fact that most of these children are not orphans and it is against current Cambodian Government policies,” he wrote.

“Like the general public, donors react to highly emotionally charged stories that in some cases are built to please them or are told at the expense of the same children they want to protect. Many donors do not have the capacity or desire to check these stories, so we end up in situations of ‘embellished’ story lines.

“A main consequence of this is that in some instances organizations end up selling the wrong problem to the donors: since donors will fund based on emotions and not on the more mundane facts, this can lead to the creation of programs built on entirely wrong assumptions which do not provide the right solutions to the beneficiaries. They may give the ‘right’ message/image back to the donors but end up further hurting the children with the money that was in­tended to protect them,” he continued.

Aarti Kapoor, who was a legal adviser to Afesip between 2003 and 2006 and still works to combat sexual abuse against children, said child protection has become highly sensationalized.

“The image of human trafficking has become highly sensationalized, often to get media attention and raise funds through emotive reactions. The reality of trafficking is often more complex,” Ms. Kapoor said.

“The tragedy is that sensationalized perceptions of trafficking end up hindering our ability to identify and respond to the majority of cases on the ground.”

Article Link:

http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/aid-worker-claims-fabricated-stories-are-common-46708/

Cambodian Sex Slave story was a lie told by Somaly Mam to make money from celebrities

What do the sex workers in Cambodia say is happening at rehabilitation centers? They say they are little better than prisons.

Long Pros Somaly Mam telling lies to trick celebrities into giving them money and fame

The Rise of the Somaly Mam Foundation
BY  | OCTOBER 13, 2013

Since its creation in 2007, the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) has attracted top U.S. business leaders and Hollywood stars to the worthy cause of
combating the trafficking of children into Cambodia’s sex industry.
Growing out of Somaly Mam’s Phnom Penh-based organization Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Precaire (Afesip), which was launched in 1996 to care
for child victims of the sex industry, SMF is the global fundraising arm of the Cambodian NGO.
SMF was created with the help of U.S. Air Force Academy graduates Jared Greenberg and Nicholas Lumpp as a way to raise funds for the work being
carried out by Afesip and five other sex trafficking organizations. The SMF’s mission to raise funds for groups fighting against sex trafficking has been
hugely successful.
At the annual SMF gala dinner, scheduled for October 23 in New York’s 1920s-era Gotham Hall ballroom, a donation of $100,000 was required to secure
seating for 20 guests at two “gala chair” tables.
The fundraising prowess of the SMF is largely due to the foundation’s board of directors and global advisory board, which includes: Jennifer Fonstad,
managing director of the multibillion dollar venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Brandee Barker, former head of global communications and
public policy for Facebook; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO; actresses Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah and Lorie Holden; supermodel Petra Nemcova;
and Melanne Verveer, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues.
Thanks to the foundation’s fundraising efforts, the SMF has grown considerably in recent years with spending increasing from $348,283 in 2008 to $3.53
million in 2011, according to financial reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Revenues raised by the SMF between 2009 and 2010 increased 47 percent to $3.17 million. At the same time, the foundation’s expenses increased 100
percent from $1.52 million to $3.04 million, according to the IRS filings.
In 2011, revenues fell 40.8 percent to $1.88 million compared to 2010. Expenditures, however, rose that year to an all time high of $3.53 million. Among the
SMF’s expenditures, which include salaries, travel and advertising, are funds transferred to actual projects for the purpose of ending slavery and sex
trafficking in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
In 2009, grants and additional assistance from the SMF to organizations outside the U.S. (in Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries—the SMF now
has links to projects in Laos and Vietnam) amounted to $835,480. In 2010, that amount was slightly less at $759,338. In 2011, the figure totaled $808,838, still
less than in 2009. Figures for 2012 are not yet available. While grants and assistance to projects reduced between 2009 and 2011, travel expenses for the
SMF between 2009 and 2010 increased threefold from $112,378 to $357,463, according to the IRS filings. Spending on advertising and promotion also
increased from just $13,501 in 2009 to $221,887 in 2010 and $211,672 in 2011.
“Compensation” for the SMF’s current officers, directors, trustees and key employees also grew from $152,370 in 2009 to $324,461 in 2010. In 2011, that
figure reached $492,755, an increase of 51.9 percent year-on-year. Another entry in the SMF’s IRS filings relates to “other salaries and wages,” which
increased from $63,542 in 2009 to a sizable $378,384 in 2010 and a whopping $641,946 in 2011.

Article link:
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/the-rise-of-the-somaly-mam-foundation-44976/

 

Sex-trafficking, fraud and money at the Somaly Mam Foundation

October 2013

Cambodia Daily just ran two controversial features on Somaly Mam, a well-known trafficking survivor and head of the anti-trafficking non-profit, the Somaly Mam Foundation that funds shelters in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Somaly Mam, Cambodia’s most well-known anti-trafficking activist, partly due to Nicholas Kristof whose “live tweeting” a brothel raid with Somaly Mam was roundly criticised by other NGOs in Cambodia, is accused of false stories of abuse, murder and kidnapping of young women, and the organization of hugely over-paying top staff including Somaly Mam herself.

Sex Slave Story Revealed to be Fabricated interviews one of the women who as a teenager spoke about her ordeal as a survivor of trafficking to raise funds for SMF, a story she now says wasn’t hers but a script she was chosen to repeat because she was bright and well-spoken, in exchange for free education at a shelter. Another survivor’s story, Long Pros, is also in question with an alleged childhood injury instead of a brothel owner’s eye gouging. Also mentioned is the UN speech where Somaly Mam claimed young women in a brothel were shot by the Cambodian police during a rescue attempt, later recanted, and her earlier claims that her daughter was kidnapped and gang-raped in response to Somaly Mam’s work, a claim denied by her ex-husband (who now runs an anti-trafficking NGO himself in Cambodia) and the daughter. Why use false or exaggerated stories?  As the accompanying feature The Rise of the Somaly Mam Foundation reports, because it pays very very well. Somaly Mam’s salary has steadily increased along with other executive staff to nearly 14% of the 2011 expenditures, nearly as much as the 16% that went to the main shelter in Cambodia. That puts SMF in company with other charities with highly-paid executive staff and less going to the actual programs – Somaly Mam Foundation in 2011 managed to hit just 23% in programs grants, the other 77% else going to fundraising, administration and staff. Ron Robinson who topped Charity Navigator’s list for overpaid charity executives, took 3.4% of Young America’s Foundation, less than half the share that the CEO position at SMF, held by Bill Livermore and then Rigmor Schneider, US$253,429 for 7% of the total budget. The SMF’s annual financial report for the same period reports a very different picture from their 990IRS form for 2011 (Charity Navigator requires registration), claiming 66% of their expenses went to “grants and other programs”. Bangkok-based journalist Andrew Drummond’s tabloidish take and Khmer440, an expat forum with bleak humor, discuss the new reports and rumors. Criticism of the SMF and Afesip has simmered for a long time, from sex workers and sex work organizations, other aid workers and others in Cambodia.

More Questions Over Somaly Mam’s Kidnapping Claim
By  and  | April 25, 2012

A second former staff member of anti-trafficking organization Afesip has cast doubts over long-standing claims by the NGO’s president, Somaly Mam, that her daughter was kidnapped by human traffickers in 2006 in retaliation for her work with victims of the sex trade.

The alleged kidnapping, which was referred to in a speech by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month, was also refuted on Sunday by Afesip’s former director and Ms. Mam’s ex-husband Pierre Legros.

Mr. Legros said that his daughter was not kidnapped, but had run away with her boyfriend in 2006 and that he was speaking out now in order to protect the privacy of daughter, whom he claimed was being used as “marketing” for the Somaly Mam Foundation.

Officials at Afesip in Phnom Penh have referred all questions regarding the alleged kidnapping to the spokesperson of the Somaly Mam Foundation, who said a response was pending while Ms. Mam receives minor medical treatment.

Aarti Kapoor, a legal adviser at Afesip between 2003 and 2006, said that colleagues at the organization in 2006 informed her that Ms. Mam’s daughter had run away from home, and that there was not mention of abduction at that time.

“My understanding at the time was that she had not been kidnapped, and that she ran away with her boyfriend,” Ms. Kapoor said yesterday by telephone from Bangkok. “It was her third attempt at running away. Her parents were in a divorce and had separated. It was just an unfortunate incident where she ran away from home.”

Ms. Kapoor added in an email that she was only made aware of the allegation that Ms. Mam’s daughter had been kidnapped by a BBC journalist in 2006, and that she was so surprised by the new version of the alleged events that she asked the journalist to not report on the allegations, which he deemed to be unethical and an invasion of the privacy of the child.

“I also questioned the veracity of some of the alleged facts,” Ms. Kapoor wrote.

A global spokeswoman for victims of human trafficking, Ms. Mam first claimed that her teen-aged daughter had been kidnapped by human traffickers and taken to Battambang in an article in Glamour Magazine in 2006. The story, as recounted by Ms. Mam in her many public appearances since to promote the plight of Cambodia’s trafficking victims, has evolved to include serious crimes allegedly perpetrated against her daughter while being held by her abductors in Battambang province. Ms. Mam has linked the alleged kidnap and abuse of her daughter to a much-publicized anti-human trafficking raid in 2004 on the Chai Hour II Hotel in Phnom Penh.

U.N. Secretary-General Ki-moon made reference to the alleged kidnapping on April 3 during an appearance by Ms. Mam at a U.N. panel on anti-trafficking in New York.

“Ms. Mam also endured terrible atrocities. Not only was she the victim of human trafficking, but after she escaped, her daughter was kidnapped as well. It is quite possible that the kidnappers were targeting Somaly’s family because she is fighting against them,” Mr. Ki-moon said.

In her presentation to the U.N. panel, Ms. Mam also claimed that eight girls were taken from her refuge and killed by the Cambodian army following the high-profile Chai Hour II Hotel raid.

Cambodian police last week described Ms. Mam’s claims that eight girls were killed as outlandish, and they said this week that they had no reports of the Afesip director’s daughter being kidnapped by human traffickers.

While the characterization of the event is being called into question by former Afesip staff, in 2006 then-US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli sent a note on the incident in a diplomatic cable to Washington as part of his regular, and detailed, updating on the status of trafficking in persons in Cambodia.

In that cable, released by Wikileaks, Ambassador Mussomeli said that Afesip had informed him that Ms. Mam’s daughter was lured by “her peers” to Battambang and that three people were subsequently arrested by Interior Ministry police officers.

“Afesip reported that on May 10, after receiving a mother’s complaint, the police of the Ministry of Interior went to Battambang province to rescue a 14-year-old missing girl. The girl was lured by her peers from Phnom Penh to Battambang province. Afesip said that the perpetrators intended to traffic the girl to Thailand. Police found the girl in a Battambang club under the influence of drugs. Police arrested three suspects and charged them with trafficking. Somaly Mam, Afesip’s president. Somaly complimented the police on their great cooperation to find her daughter,” the cable states.

The U.S. State Department’s annual reports on the status of trafficking in persons, however, makes no mention of the kidnapping of Ms. Mam’s daughter in 2006 or in any year thereafter, while James Heenan, deputy representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh, said the U.N. did not have “any knowledge of this incident.”

Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Un Sokunthea said that she had no knowledge of the alleged kidnapping, adding that such a serious crime involving the director of a well-known NGO would not have slipped by unnoticed in Cambodia.

“Somaly was here [in Cambodia]. If there was such a case in 2006, it can’t be held quiet until now,” said Lt. Gen. Sokunthea, who was head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking police department at the time of the alleged kidnapping in 2006.

Ten Borany, the acting director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said he too knew nothing of the kidnapping, while Sok Kalyan, the former prosecutor in 2006 at Phnom Penh’s municipal court, said that such a case was never brought to his attention.

Two former deputy prosecutors and one current deputy prosecutor at Battambang Provincial Court said on Monday that the alleged kidnapping case had not been brought to their attention.

Ms. Mam’s ex-husband, Mr. Legros, said on Sunday that he wanted his ex-wife to stop publicizing the alleged kidnapping of his daughter and that it had gone too far that the U.N. Secretary-General had taken up the cause.

“She has never been kidnapped by anyone. She escaped from home because at that time I was not there and she have a few arguments with Somaly. She escaped with her boyfriend and she disappeared and Somaly discovered her in Battambang,” Mr. Legros said.

“I would like the privacy of my daughter to be private…. She [Ms. Mam] has used that for many years and now I am fed up.”

Somaly Mam admits to lying about sex trafficking:
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/somaly-mam-admits-to-inaccuracies-in-speech-to-un-1590/

 

Here are some good articles that have a good summary of the Somaly Mam, and Nicholas Kristof controversy about them lying about Sex Trafficking:

Change.org  petition to fire Nicholas Kristof from the New York Times

Swallowing the camel summary of Somaly Mam

Newsweek story of Somaly Mam

Laura Agustin on Somaly Mam

Cambodia Daily newspaper

 

How common is forced sex trafficking?
Are all prostitutes sex trafficking victims?
What is the difference between a prostitute and a sex trafficking victim?
Are prostitutes children? Or are they consenting adults?
Why did Somaly Mam have to lie and invent victims? Was it because she couldn’t find any REAL victims?
 
The downfall of anti-sex-slavery activist Somaly Mam has led some to question the extent of trafficking.
 Phnom Penh, Cambodia – In early 2011, Srey Mao, 28, and two friends were “rescued” and taken to a shelter run by Afesip, a Cambodian organisation that prides itself on helping sex-trafficking victims recover from trauma while learning new trades such as sewing and hairdressing.

There was just one problem: The women claim they hadn’t actually been trafficked.

Instead, the women said they were willing sex workers who had been rounded up off the street during a police raid and sent to Afesip, headed by the internationally renowned anti-sex-slavery crusader Somaly Mam with funding from the foundation that bears her name.

They said they were confined there for months as purported victims of sex trafficking. Srey Mao claimed that she, her friends and a number of other sex workers in the centre were instructed by a woman to tell foreign visitors they had been trafficked.

“I was confined against my will,” Srey Mao said on Saturday.

The person she said instructed ordered her and others to lie was Somaly Mam.

Falling star

For the better part of a decade, Mam has been the celebrated face of anti-human trafficking efforts in Cambodia.

With her undeniable charisma and tragic back-story as a former child sex slave, she has rubbed shoulders and traded hugs with Hollywood stars such as Susan Sarandon and Meg Ryan. CNN dubbed her a “hero” in 2007. Glamour Magazine made her a “woman of the year” honoree in 2006.

In 2010, then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton visited an Afesip shelter here and later spoke about her moving encounter with Long Pros, a former sex slave who said her eye was gouged out by a brothel-keeper. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, one of Mam’s strongest supporters, wrote about Pros and his “hero” Mam.

Mam’s star-studded image abruptly lost its sheen on May 28, when she was forced to resign from the Somaly Mam Foundation following a Newsweek cover story reporting that she had lied about her past.

Not only had Mam not been an orphaned trafficking victim – reporter Simon Marks revealed in Newsweek that she grew up with both parents and graduated from high school – but she reportedly encouraged and coached girls to lie as well.

One of these girls was Pros, who, according to Newsweek, actually lost her eye to a tumor and was sent to Afesip for vocational training. The same was reportedly true of Meas Ratha, a teenager allegedly coached by Mam to say she had been trafficked when in fact she was sent to Afesip by an impoverished farming family, desperate to give their daughter a better start in life.

Afesip representatives did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics’

Although the stories of Mam, Pros and Ratha have now been widely scrutinised in the media, less examined have been Mam’s frequent embellished statements about the scale and nature of sex trafficking in Cambodia.

The term “trafficking” has become trendy among donors in the Western world for the pure horror it evokes – a horror that Pros embodied for many – but it leaves out a whole spectrum of complex choices and negotiations, and often erases women’s agency entirely.

Sebastien Marot, founder of the nongovernmental organisation Friends International, which works with street children and other vulnerable populations, has lived in Cambodia since 1994. In all his years in the country, he said he has encountered only a handful of what he considers clear-cut cases of sex slavery, despite the lavish funding and massive attention from celebrities that the cause attracts.

“There’s definitely fashions in the donor world,” he said. “The big thing now is trafficking – people say, ‘Oh my God, trafficking’ – but how do we define that?”

Mam and her foundation have interpreted the term liberally, claiming repeatedly, along with Afesip, that sex slaves in Cambodia number in the tens of thousands.

In 2011, Mam told an interviewer that there were 80,000 to 100,000 prostitutes in Cambodia, 58 percent of whom were trafficked. In a 2010 Somaly Mam Foundation video, Hollywood actress Lucy Liu solemnly intoned in a voiceover that “the low-end estimate for the number of sex slaves in Cambodia alone is over 40,000”. Mam has also claimed that it is commonplace for children as young as 3 to be sold into sex slavery in Cambodia.

The source for these numbers is unclear, and according to some, wrong.

study published in 2011 by the UN Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking based on data collected in 2008 stated that the number of sex trafficking victims in Cambodia is 1,058 at most, including 127 children, six of whom were under the age of 13. The majority of these cases involved women who had fallen into debt to their brothels, or prostitutes under the age of 18. These are both abhorrent and illegal, but they are a far cry from the extreme scenarios Mam often invoked – girls put in cages, tortured with electricity, having their eyes gouged out by pimps.

“We never encountered any such thing, and we certainly looked for it,” the study’s author, Thomas Steinfatt, said this week. “We couldn’t find any instances of that … In terms of people tortured, I think they’ve been watching too many movies.”

Steinfatt, a professor at the University of Miami, said the figure of 1,058 is still an accurate estimate of the number of sex trafficking victims in the country. Although he has been criticised by some anti-sex-slavery activists for producing such a low figure, he is the only researcher to have systematically canvassed Cambodia seeking out brothels and collecting data on the women and girls inside.

“Sex trafficking is actually one of the smaller portions of trafficking,” he said. “Much more [trafficking] goes on in labour or domestic work. It’s quite literally the ‘sexiest’ topic, and it’s something that really bothers people – which it should, but it’s not the largest.”

Helen Sworn, the founder of anti-trafficking coalition Chab Dai, noted that other researchers have disputed Steinfatt’s findings and methodology, though added that Steinfatt’s estimate “was the best available number” before laws introduced in 2008 and 2009 that caused “a significant shift underground of incidents, which was not addressed in the previous research”. However, Sworn said Mam’s resignation should be an impetus for soul-searching from NGOs on how to proceed in the future.

“Of course this will have repercussions on the sector, which is why we need to be intentional and professional in the way we implement programs,” she said. “Funding has always been a challenge for those who don’t exploit the dignity of others, so maybe this just makes for a more democratic platform where it will be equally challenging.”

Mam’s embellishments have also distracted attention from the very serious problems Cambodia still faces, including the structural reasons why 1,058 women and girls might be forced into prostitution and why sex work is often seen as the best job available.

‘Victim’ or ‘prostitute’?

“Abolitionist” NGOs such as Afesip take the position that sex work is by definition coercive, and that it is impossible to choose to be a prostitute. In a 2008 interview with the Phnom Penh Post, Mam noted that she preferred to use the term “victim” rather than “prostitute”, and that women who thought they were voluntary sex workers could actually be sex slaves.

In 2006, in response to complaints by sex workers that they did not like being sent to NGO-run shelters after police raids, Afesip advisor Aarti Kapoor told The Cambodia Daily, “We don’t believe prostitution is a legitimate form of work”. This led Afesip to support a draconian anti-human trafficking law, which was passed by Cambodia’s parliament in 2008 and, some advocates claim, ramped up police abuses against sex workers like Srey Mao.

Srey Mao said she became a prostitute because she believed it was the best option to support her aging parents and young daughter. Months in the Afesip shelter did not change her mind. She claims that after she arrived at the shelter, she was not given access to anti-retroviral drugs for five days or allowed to see her family. Instead, she was enrolled in a yearlong sewing course, entailing eight hours a day of study or garment work.

“I was not happy to be there … Very often, during our short break for lunch, Afesip staff and sometimes Mam Somaly came to us and told us to tell donors and foreigners who would come to visit shelters that we were victims of human trafficking.”

Seven months into her stay at the shelter, Srey Mao ran away and returned to life as a prostitute.

Article link from Aljazeera

The Story of Somaly Mam – click below for larger image:

cartoon of somaly

 

Prop 35 – Turning all consensual sex acts into “human trafficking”

Proposition 35 – the California law  Turning all consensual  sex acts into “human trafficking”

Fighting human trafficking – what is human trafficking?  – The answer that the police and government want to have is: “Anything involving adult consensual sex in private”

Prop35InformationPacket

http://adultbizlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Prop35InformationPacket.pdf

Early polling suggests that Proposition 35 looks like a sure winner in November — buoyed by voters who haven’t read or understood it but who like its title.   Unfortunately, either through accident or design, Prop 35 is badly drafted — potentially turning even misdemeanor offenses dealing with prostitution, solicitation, non-marital sex, sex with minors, “sexting,” pornography, obscenity, and extortion into major, multi-year felonies.

One doesn’t have to think that such activities should be legal to think that they should be addressed with some sense of punishment being proportional to the crime.  It must be fixed before it enters our Penal Code.

Prop 35  is a joint effort of Californians Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation.  Californians Against Slavery bills itself this way:

A nonprofit, non-partisan human rights organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in our state. Our mission is to defend the freedom of every child, woman and man by empowering the people of California to fulfill our obligation to stop human trafficking.

Now there is a group that is hard to oppose!  Not many people outright celebrate slavery these days.  And human trafficking, the prototypical example is where women are imported into the U.S. with false promises of legitimate work, held captive, and forced into prostitution for the benefit of American men.  This is about as offensive as a practice can get.  (Of course, “human trafficking” has another meaning as well: prostitution in any form, which is less offensive.  This ambiguity will, as we’ll see, create problems.)

The group’s leader, Daphne Phung, was inspired to create Prop 35 by MSNBC’s excellent documentary on human trafficking, “Sex Slaves in America,” the transcript for which is available at http://on.today.com/nxLNI2.  Please do read it.  If such activities were legal and Prop 35 addressed only such horrors, I’d support it.

The Safer California Foundation bills itself this way:

… dedicated to supporting efforts to protect Californians from all forms of criminal exploitation. Created by Chris Kelly, former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer and a Silicon Valley attorney and philanthropist, the Safer California Foundation looks forward to the day when every neighborhood in California is as safe as our most secure neighborhoods today.

You may remember Chris Kelly as a well-funded 2010 Democratic candidate for Attorney General who lost to Kamala Harris in the primary.  His address — business, probably — is listed as being in Garden Grove. He provided the lion’s share of funding for Prop 35, $1.66 million.  (Perhaps I’ll be excused for suspecting that once Prop 35 passes, he’s not going to let us forget that, either.)  As “criminal exploitation” is better known as “crime,” the above description is about as vague as they come: Chris Kelly is against crime.

Prop 35 would enact the “CASE Act.”  CASE stands for “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation,” which is intended as a model law for other states to adopt.  Notice that we’ve gone from opposing “Slavery” — a pretty well-defined concept — to opposing “Sexual Exploitation,” which is a lot broader and more nebulous.  That is our first hint (not counting lavish sponsorship by what the Sacramento Bee calls ”a politically ambitious financial angel”) of the problems with Prop 35.

That notwithstanding, it is hard to imagine a more “motherhood and apple pie” measure than this.  What sort of monster, after all, could argue with opposing modern day slavery?

Here’s what kind of monster: someone who has actually read the bill, rather than just the title, and analyzed what its language would do.  Such a monster may come to view Prop 35 as a “bait and switch” for voters.

Jane Fonda as a streetwalker in Klute & Cambodian child prostitute — does all “sex trafficking” deserve the same legal treatment?

Surprise!  Current Law Does Punish Pimping Minors.  (Unbelievable!)

The website from which the photo at right came (and I’m taking their word that the girl in question is in fact a child prostitute) begins with these sentences:

Debbie was 15 when she was abducted from her Phoenix home late one night. Four men took her to an apartment from her home 25 miles away and continually raped and abused her. She spent days and days in a dog kennel, where her kidnappers forced her to eat dog biscuits and have sex with any man who came to the apartment. Unfortunately, this is a situation more than 2 million women and children find themselves in around the world annually.

(I support Prop 34, which will eliminate the death penalty, because it is too costly and sometimes has led to execution of the innocent.  I have to admit, though — if I knew for sure that someone in their right mind had done this sort of thing, I wouldn’t shed a tear at their execution if it came to pass.)

Prop 35 demands our attention with these sorts of lurid and horrific stories of real prototypical human trafficking — usually foreign women lured into the U.S. with the promise of legitimate work, held captive, beaten, and forced into prostitution.  It then uses our revulsion at this abominable practice to induce us to pass a bill that doesn’t necessarily have all that much to do with prototypical human trafficking.

Consider the paragraph above about “Debbie.”  Does it strike you that we already have laws against all of this?  It should — and that should make you wonder what is actually going on here.  Here’s what’s going on here: rather than going after prototypical human trafficking, the law goes after the broader definition of human trafficking:prostitution.  Proponents of Prop 35 will disagree with this assertion: on its face, Prop 35 only deals withforced prostitution.  That will raise the question of what constitutes “force.”

As aside: If you’re wondering why almost no politician will feel able to oppose Prop 35, whatever their private misgivings, look at that last couple of sentences.  What politician wants to parse what constitutes “force” in the activity of prostitution?  Isn’t prostitution bad?  The answer is that one can be perfectly comfortable with making all prostitution illegal — and yet not consider it all equally bad.  Prostitution involving a 33-year-old woman who engages in it freely and voluntarily as a means of earning income may be bad, but it is clearly not as bad as prostitution involving a 13-year-old girl who can’t speak English held captive and forced into the sex trade.  The greater crime should carry the greater penalty; that should be non-controversial.  How does the CASE Act fare by that standard?

One thing that the CASE Act does is to raise the penalties for various crimes as indicated in this table from its FAQ page:

As you can see, a lot of what the CASE Act does is simply increasing sentencing.  That’s fine, in prototypical  human trafficking cases (especially including minors) where the accused has has primary rather than incidental involvement — and it’s something that I’ll bet the legislature would happily pass without a ballot initiative.  But there’s something about this chart that undermines the credibility of proponents.  Can you spot it?

Look in the column listing “current state” penalties for various activities, three and four lines down.  And then ask yourself: do you honestly believe that there is currently no state penalty for sexual trafficking of a minor without force?  Really?

There is a penalty for pimping; there is a penalty for kidnapping and false imprisonment; there are penalties for conspiracy and for solicitation to commit statutory rape.  I’m probably leaving others out.  So there are two possibilities here: either they authors of this chart are misleading (if not actually lying) — as if their argument that “yes that can be penalized but the specific label ‘sexual trafficking of a minor’ is not used so it doesn’t count” — or what they’re calling “sexual trafficking” is not what we think of when that term is used.

From what I can tell, it’s probably both.

Prop 35 Apparently Creates Big New Penalties against Underage Sex and All Prostitution

Prop 35 has been promoted largely by Christian religious activists who presumably generally oppose prostitution and underage (or even all non-marital) sex.  That’s their right.  If they can get voters to decide that prostitution and soliciting should be punished by 20 years in prison, they have the tools of the initiative process at their disposal.  I’ll oppose them, but they can try it.  However, they should be very clear and honest about what they’re actually doing.

In this case, under cover of fighting human trafficking, they would have raise the penalties for commercial sex to an outlandish degree — and define commercial sex extremely broadly.

The CASE Act is more of an anti-prostitution law  than an anti-modern-day-slavery law.  More than that, it’s an law that is anti-”statutory rape” — a term meaning simply underage sex.

Statutory rape, even with the minor’s consent, is considered rape because the minor is considered not to have the legal capacity to consent to sex. This renders all sexual activity, even consensual activity with someone whom the partner believes to be of age, as technically being “rape.”  (Of course, in states like Arizona the age of consent is 16, not 18, so we’re not dealing with universal rules of nature here.  This is a choice of the state regarding the mental capacity of minors — one often honored in the breach.)

The shocker is that CASE Act could literally make penalties for statutory rape greater than those for violent rape.

I have no problem with treating those engaged in real human trafficking as worse even than rapists.  But the CASE Act is so broadly written that in the hands of aggressive police and prosecutors it could sweep illegal (but not uncommon) sexual encounters into the category of “human trafficking” — and that is simply wrong.  It does so by expansively defining  legal terms such as “commercial sex,” “force,” and “coercion.”

When examining a criminal law, one useful exercise is to consider the broadest possible expansion of each term and see how many acts it sweeps into its scope.

Redefining “commercial sex”

Here’s a riddle:

Q: Under §6(h)(2) of the CASE Act, what makes a sexual act into a “commercial sex act”?

A: That it occurs on account of anything of value being given or received by any person.

Here’s another riddle:

Q: Gee, does “anything of value” include buying someone dinner?  A ticket to a movie?  A drink?

A: “Anything of value” is not defined — but if it meant “money or its equivalent” it would say so.

Here’s a final riddle:

Q: Do you really think that prosecutors will think that they can get a jury to convict for a 19-year-old boy who takes a 17-year-old girl (or boy) to a concert, leading her to be grateful and to engage in a sexual act with him, under the CASE Act?

A: Maybe not.  But if it’s your son facing 12 years in prison and being branded for life as a registered sex offender as a result of the conviction, would you be more likely to tell him to accept a plea bargain just in case?  And don’t prosecutors like plea bargains to pad their conviction statistics?  And have they ever been known to deploy their prosecutorial discretion somewhat selectively?

(By the way, that could be your daughter in the above example rather than your son.)

Many sexual activities, including those involving minors, may be facilitated in part by the gift or receipt of “something of value” without being what we’d normally think of as “commercial.”  Gift of receipt of “something of value” like a meal or drink, in the course of dating or even a casual encounter, is one way of showing that the potential sexual partner is valued, which in turn is may facilitate sexual activity.  I can quote song lyrics to underline the point, but it’s probably unnecessary.

We don’t (unless we are jealous and/or mean) generally call the receipt of a gift that leads to a decision to engage in sexual activity a prostitute, nor do we call the person giving such a gift a john.  Even if we did, the stakes under current law would simply be that the giver involved could be charged with solicitation and the recipient with being a prostitute; of such things are sitcom episodes made.  It becomes a lot less funny, though, when what’s at risk is being charged with human sexual trafficking and registered sex offended status.

Under §4 of the CASE Act, though, only the one giving the gift could be charged with a crime; the recipient cannot be charged: “evidence that a victim of human trafficking … has engaged in any commercial sexual act as a result of being a victim of human trafficking is inadmissible to prove the victim’s criminal liability for any conduct related to that activity.”  Furthermore, evidence of any “history of commercial sexual act of a victim of human trafficking … is inadmissible to attack the credibility or impeach the character of the victim.”  (This is a great sort of provision when it comes to rape cases, for example, but in the context of human trafficking it can have some unintended consequences.)

Broadly increasing potential penalties for non-marital sex with adult partners, obscenity, etc.

Under §6 of the CASE Act, a person “is guilty of human trafficking” ”who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of” existing portions of the California Penal Code dealing with:

  • prostitution or “illicit carnal connection with any man” (§266)
  • living or deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution (§266(h))
  • procuring prostitutes (§266(i))
  • transporting minor prostitutes for immoral purposes(§266(j))
  • taking away from guardians a minor for purposes of prostitution (§267)
  • importation, publishing, possession, &c of real or simulated child pornography (§311.1)
  • importation, publishing, possession, &c of obscene material, of real or simulated child pornography, or providing same to minors (§311.2), or using minors to produce such material (§311.4)
  • visually depicting a minor having sex with a person or animal,  experiencing penetration of their vagina or anus, masturbating, engaging in sadomasochistic activity, urinating, defecating, or revealing sexual organs for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer (§311.3)
  • any trafficking in obscene matter (§311.5 — a misdemeanor offense)
  • engaging or participating in, sponsoring, &c, obscene life conduct in public, with or without admission fee (§311.6 — a misdemeanor offense)
  • extortion (§518)
(A quick note about this last one.  ”Extortion” is defined as “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer,induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.”  So literally, under the CASE Act, one who “deprives of violates the personal liberty of another” — we’ll define that shortly, but extortion necessarily does so — becomes guilty of human trafficking even if there’s nothing sexual about it.  That is sloppy, sloppy legislative drafting.)

If “prostitution” and “obscenity” and the like were narrowly defined, this would be as much of a problem.  But, as seen above, they aren’t.  Take the definition of prostitution in California Penal Code § 266:

Every person who inveigles or entices any unmarried female, of previous chaste character, under the age of 18 years, into any house of ill fame, or of assignation, or elsewhere, for the purpose of prostitution, or to have illicit carnal connection with any man; and every person who aids or assists in such inveiglement or enticement; and every person who, by any false pretenses, false representation, or other fraudulent means, procures any female to have illicit carnal connection with any man,

You can see how the CASE Act may seriously deter patronage of prostitutes overall, even though it’s not being marketed that way.  That’s fine if one’s intent is to eliminate prostitution by attaching the potential of extremely severe penalties to it — but, again, that’s not how the CASE Act is being marketed.

Similarly, it may seriously deter non-marital sex, sexual activities (even short of intercourse) involving minors, pornography, obscenity, and anything that is conceivably extortion.  This little proposition has the potential to make a major felony out of all sorts of deviations from sexual probity — and no one seems to realize it or debate it in those terms.

Of course, inducing or engaging in all of these activities is only a problem if it “deprives or violates the personal liberty of another,” which I helpfully put in bold above.  What does that mean?  Luckily for us, this term is defined in §(h)(3):

“Deprivation or violation of the personal liberty of another” includes substantial and sustained restriction of another’s liberty accomplished through force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person, under circumstances where the person receiving or apprehending the threat reasonably believes that it is likely that the person making the threat would carry it out.

(This is what statutory analysis is like, by the way.  Now we have to look through a bunch of other stuff.)

Turning “commercial sex acts” into “human trafficking”

How likely is it, though, that someone giving a minor a gift that results in a agreement to perform a sexual act could be charged with involvement in freaking human sexual trafficking?  Well, it depends on the definitions assigned to a set of related terms like “force,” “coercion,” and “duress.”

With a long list like “force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person,” the chain is as weak as its weakest link.  Many of these terms for how one could engage in deprivation of liberty are defined in the statute; I’ll just pick out a few of them.

Let’s start with “coercion,” defined in  §(h)(1):

Coercion includes any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process; debt bondage; or the provision and facilitation of any controlled substance to a person with the intent to impair said person’s judgment.

So sharing drugs with someone could be enough for “coercion.”  That does happen in some relationships, doesn’t it?  (I’m not sure whether, for someone under 21, alcohol would be considered a “controlled substance,” but I wouldn’t be surprised.  Marijuana certainly is.)  What interests me, though, is the phrase “serious harm” — how is that defined? Check  §(h)(8):

“Serious harm” includes any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all of the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or to continue performing labor, services, or commercial sexual acts in order to avoid incurring that harm.

So if a woman without many resources stays in a relationship with a man — not someone who is abusing her physically or psychologically, mind you, just some guy — feels that she has to stay in the relationship because of a “pattern” (meaning it need not be intentional) that would mean that if she left him she would suffer psychologically or financially, that could constitute “serious harm.”  Or if a high school junior dating a high school senior is worried about breaking up because of the prospect that he will tell others at school that she was performing oral sex on him, that also counts as “serious harm.”  And if either the man or the boy are providing the woman or girl with drugs that impair judgment — that too could be “serious harm.”

Of course, “serious harm” only puts one in jeopardy for arrest for “human trafficking” if it leads to “commercial sexual acts,” so maybe this shouldn’t be worrisome.  Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, the term “commercial sex acts” can also be stretched to include sex that involves gift or receipt of “anything of value.”

I think I won’t bother going over the definitions of “fear,” “deceit,” “duress,” and the rest.    (Well, OK, I can’t resist — “duress” is defined to include an “implied threat of hardship.”  How often does that happen?  Prop 35 could almost be entitled the “Don’t You Dare Break Up With Your Girlfriend” Act.)

OK, seriously — could people really get prosecuted for all of this?

The first question is whether someone could get arrested for it.

One problem with a law that may literally be broad enough to take

  • production of obscene materials
  • any sex act (not just intercourse) with someone underage, even if you’re underage too
  • rooming with someone you should realize is engaged in commercial sex acts (broadly defined)
  • having sex with a prostitute who (whatever his or her appearance) may turn out to be underage (and “she looked like she was 25″ is explicitly ruled out as a defense in the CASE Act itself)
  • creating a situation where a financially dependent lover or one worried about her reputation or one to which you’ve provided marijuana, &c, does not feel that she can exit a relationship without “serious harm”, &c

and turn them from non-crimes or misdemeanors or in some cases penalties with little punishment into arrests for human freaking trafficking (with the punishments set forth above) is that it gives the police a lot of discretion.  Remember, you could now be arrested on suspicion of “human trafficking”; it doesn’t have to be something that your partner demands of the police.

Now, you’re looking at a prospect of many years in jail, having to register as a sex offender, having to notify the government every time you create a new internet account — it’s all in there — and more.  And you’re waiting for word to get out that you’ve been arrested for human trafficking – like the people who kidnapped that 15-year-old in the paragraph with which this story begins.

Let’s say the prosecutor comes to you and says “OK, we’re willing to put aside the human trafficking charge if you’ll plead guilty to this misdemeanor” (“which we otherwise couldn’t prove,” the prosecutor will not add.)  What are you going to do?

I don’t know whether the furthest reaches of this law as written would pass muster in court.  I am confident that a lot of people will, in order to avoid the worst consequences of the law, will plead guilty to almost anything to escape that possibility.  So the question is less “what will happen in court” than “what will happen to people desperate not to find out what happens to them in court.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that the police discretion possible under this law could mean that it could be selectively aimed at gays and lesbians, at political dissidents, at interracial couples, at religious minorities, etc.  Someone calls in a tip that they think that “human trafficking” is taking place and we’re off to the races.  It’s areally broad law.

The perverse effect of Prop 35 could be less police focus on real prototypical human trafficking

Perhaps the saddest thing about Prop 35 is that by expanding and diluting the meaning of “human trafficking,” it makes it easier for police and prosecutors to ignore the real thing, where it occurs.  Why is that?  It’s because once relatively minor activities get lumped into the category of “human trafficking,” police and prosecutors can get credit for fighting “human trafficking” by pursuing those minor violations rather than trying to find the people who killed and enslaved that 15-year-old girl in the first example above.

Real human traffickers are likely to be dangerous.  What this law does is to create so many “soft targets” that police and prosecutors could get awards for fighting “human trafficking” without ever having to confront anyone who is actually engaged in what you and I currently think of as “human trafficking.”

There is precedent for this.  Marijuana joins heroin, meth, cocaine, PCP, and the like on the DEA’s “Schedule 1″ of dangerous “hard” drugs.  Are police more likely to take the risk to break up a meth lab, or to arrest some high school student for having a quarter-ounce of pot, if both lead to their being able to proclaim their success in fighting the “War on Drugs”?

My fear if Prop 35 passes is that we see a lot more bogus “success” against human trafficking while real human traffickers bribe police to look the other way.

Take it back to the workshop and FIX IT before it becomes law

I think that society does need to focus more on fighting real human trafficking.  Some parts of the CASE Act strike me as useful; others as worth considering.  As a whole, though, it’s an example of sloppy and reckless legislative drafting with little regard for civil rights or for creating perverse incentives.

It didn’t have to be that way.  This is why we send laws through the legislature, to allow legislative committee staff to check their every implication and fix the problems before they become law.  If a bill is passed as an initiative like this, the ability of the legislature to amend it is constrained.

The Sacramento Bee, in a very sympathetic article about Daphne Phung, the sponsor of the bill, said this:

Phung spent enough time in the Capitol to realize she could not persuade Democrats in the Legislature to approve longer sentences for human trafficking. Lawmakers are trying to reduce the prison population because of the federal court order requiring it and to cut costs.

If ever a red flag existed, this is it.  (Yes, the idea that, as with marijuana laws, bogus prosecutions of people for human trafficking could push real criminals out of jail is just one of the many problems I haven’t yet mentioned.)

I would like to credit Daphne Phung with a big success here.  The notion that the legislature would not pursue a normal statute, with the normal protections that process entails, after the preliminary success of Prop 35 in initial polls and endorsements is almost absurd.  Congratulations, Ms. Phung, you have gotten the legislature’s attention.  That is, no sarcasm here, a serious accomplishment.  The question is: what do we do now?

One possibility is to pass Prop 35.  It seems like few people are reading this law, though, because they think that they can’t politically afford to oppose it due to its title and the horror stories it invokes.  That is a dereliction of duty on the part of the political and legal community, who are supposed to be willing to stand up and take a hit if necessary to prevent a dangerous law from getting onto the books.  The mere fact that the CASE Act may suddenly change a current misdemeanor into a 12-20 year felony should be of grave concern, shouldn’t it?  Doesn’t the way that it turns extortion into human trafficking — read §6(b)! – should give anyone pause.

The other possibility is to take the CASE Act back to the workshop, eliminate the bugs in it, and send it back through the legislature, where the unexpected problems that arise can be more easily fixed.

A final note: By the way, the law also applies these same terms against “human trafficking” to employment situations.  Some workers are held in slavery conditions and that needs to be fought much harder.  But there, too, the reach of this law is astoundingly broad.  (Just try applying that analysis of “coercion” to a sweatshop.)  I expect that, once Prop 35 passes, as a plaintiff’s employment lawyer I’ll be making great use of the CASE Act bycharging employers, when appropriate, with coercive human trafficking; if the law gives me that power, I’d be derelict not to use it.  Is that really what the voters of the state want?

Article Link:

http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2012/07/i-despise-human-trafficking-but-i-oppose-the-badly-drafted-prop-35/

[This story is also available at http://tinyurl.com/Prop35%5D

As you might be aware there is a ballot measure this fall in Los Angeles County for voters to decide upon – Ballot Measure B – the condom initiative. What you might be unaware of is another ballot measure that could also severely impact porn and the people that work within it. Proposition 35 is a state-wide ballot initiative that will re-write and grossly broaden police power over pimping, pandering and prostitution, basically turning all of it into “human-trafficking.”

What you have to be aware of is that if you work as an escort, even if you are independent and it is your choice, you are subject to this law. And you more importantly, you and those in your life that receive any money from you can have your assets seized and sold at auction and the money given to groups that are fighting human-trafficking. Basically, the government has decided to treat prostitution like the war on drugs. If you make money as an escort, California law enforcement will be able to seize your house, your car, your bank accounts as profits from an illegal activity.  If you care for and provide for an elderly parent(s) with the money you make as an escort the government will also be able to seize their home, their car and their bank account. And you and those around you might have to register as “sex-offenders” under Proposition 35.

Be aware of this poorly written law and vote against it and tell those you know to vote against it.

Here are some bullet points from Maxine Doogan, who heads the Erotic Service Providers Union in San Francisco ( http://espu-ca.org/wp/ ). You can also follow @OpposeProp35 on Twitter for more information ( https://www.Twitter.com/OpposeProp35 ).

  • Prop 35 relies on junk science to lie to voters about human trafficking cases so they can benefit from 100% of the new fines imposes.
  • Prop 35 relies on the failed polices of police engaging in sexual contact in prostitution sting operations to identify human trafficked victims will force the sex industry further underground, making it harder for law enforcement to find and identify actual human trafficking victims.
  • Prop 35 relies on the failed polices of mandating cities and counties to spend millions of dollars to implement and train police officers to enforce this law that doesn’t provide basic protections such as access to equal protection for those who are working in the sex industry or undocumented.
  • Prop 35 could result in children and domestic partners of prostitutes, who are supported financially from a prostitutes’ labor, to be convicted of human trafficking and forced to register on the California sex registry as sex offenders.
  •  Prop 35 is overbroad – it could result in the arrest of and prosecution of teenagers for human trafficking who date, consume alcohol or a controlled substance, and engage in sexual activity an unintended consequence.
  • Prop 35 is overbroad – it will give police too much discretion and will likely result in further police abuse of homosexuals and other disfavored minority groups.
  • Prop 35 relies on the failed polices of further criminalization of consensual private adult sexual activity.
  • Prop 35 will cost the state of California substantial funds to support Proponent’s chosen anti-prostitution trafficking non-profit groups with no oversight or accountability.
  • Prop 35 will cost the state of California untold sums to defend it in court challenges and will be struck down as unconstitutional.
  • Prop 35 penalties which include registering all internet user names infringes upon protected free speech activities such as the right to engage in political dialogue anonymously on the internet and will cost voters money when it is challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional.
  • Prop 35 unconstitutionally limits a defendant’s right to assert a defense at trial – by preventing a defense attorney from questioning an alleged victim about voluntary work in the sex industry and will cost voters money when it is challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional.
  • Prop 35 is overbroad – it makes duplicating and selling obscene materials depicting children a form of human trafficking  and will cost voters money when it is challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional.
  • Prop 35 is overbroad – it would require individuals who engage in any kind of extortion to register with the CA sex registry as sex offenders even though the particular crime may not have been a sexual offense and will cost voters money when it is challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional.
  • Prop 35 is unconstitutionally vague – a law must be clearly written so as to give adequate notice regarding what is the illegal activity and will cost voters money when it is challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional.

If you would like additional information please feel free to download this informational packet authored by Norma Jean Almodovar. Ms. Almodovar is the Executive Director of COYOTE ( Cast Off Your Tired Old Ethics http://www.coyotela.org/ ). COYOTE is a sex worker activist organization. Almodovar worked as a traffic control police officer for ten years. In 1982, she quit her job with the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and began working as a call girl. In 1984, she attempted to recruit a former coworker from the LAPD to begin working as a prostitute. Her actions resulted in an arrest and conviction for pandering. In 1986, Almodovar ran for lieutenant governor in the California gubernatorial election, as a Libertarian. Almodovar’s autobiography was published by Simon & Schuster in 1993.

Prop35InformationPacket

 www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com

It is very interesting that even though CNN has reported that sex slavery has been reported false in sports events.  They still have “CNN freedom project” which continues to report biased incorrect information about sex trafficking. This project is really not a news project at all. It is a special interest group that tells lies.   This reporting does not try to find the facts.  It only repeats incorrect statistics. There is someone (Amber Lyon) at CNN that has a mission to mislead the public about this issue.  I would like to see a full scale investigation  report about why they are so concerned with misleading the public.

Human Trafficking movie, videos, TV news show, interviews, films, facts on Sex Slavery, Prostitution victims, Myths

This is what Anti-prostitution groups including the Salvation Army, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, government officials, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale, Change-org, A Future Not A Past, Polaris Project, Salvation Army, Women’s Funding Network, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation,  believe.

They want to promote and encourage – Telling lies to the public about Sex Trafficking, and Prostitution:

Problem Solvers: Anti-Child Sex Trafficking Charity caught lying and stealing money

Dallas TV News show about the super bowl sex trafficking myth:

 

A future not a past – Kaffie McCullough on why she used made up bogus child sex trafficking, human trafficking, sex slavery statistics :

A future not a past  –  audio interview with Kaffie McCullough on why she used made up bogus child sex trafficking, human trafficking, sex slavery study.

Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore are telling lies about sex trafficking:

BBC Newsnight TV Show interview:

Dallas TV News show about the super bowl sex trafficking myth:

http://www.wfaa.com/v/?i=114983179

Ashton Kutcher’s response:   http://aplusk.posterous.com/why-fight-it-could-be-your-daughter-your-niec

Kaffie McCullough admits they needed to invent scary sex trafficking statistics to get government funding.

http://www.sextraffickingvictims.org/forum/general-information-topics-of-interest/the-truth-unfolds/?action=dlattach;attach=68
http://www.sextraffickingvictims.org/forum/general-information-topics-of-interest/the-truth-unfolds/

http://sextraffickingvictims.blog.com/

http://sextrafficking.myblogsite.com
http://www.wfaa.com/v/?i=114983179   Dallas News video about the super bowl child sex slave myth

Dallas TV News show article about super bowl sex slave myth:

 http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/super-bowl/Super-Bowl-prostitution-prediction-has-no-proof–114983179.html

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/prostitution/Juvenile_Prostitution_factsheet.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMtUEsWhg1E

Human Trafficking Facts, Colorado, Denver, Colorado Springs, Sex Trafficking Facts, The Facts about Sex Trafficking, The Facts about Sex Slavery, The facts about Human Trafficking, Sex Slavery Facts,  Human Trafficking Fact Sheet, Prostitution Fact Sheet, The Truth, Myths, Lies, Facts about Sex Trafficking Videos, Films, Movies, interviews and Sex Slavery, Factual research papers, reports, No victims of forced prostitution found.

Human Trafficking Statistics are exaggerated, with NO proof, NO evidence, NO victims of forced prostitution.

There is a lot of controversy over the topics of sex trafficking, sex slavery, human trafficking and forced prostitution. Regarding what the definition is, the research methods used to find statistics,  what the definition of a victim is,  the number of child and adult victims involved,  forced vs. unforced sex, how the actual prostitutes themselves feel about it, and legal vs. illegal prostitution.

There is a growing number of well respected researchers, journalists, scientists, professors, that have concluded in their research that the sex trafficking, sex slavery concept is based on emotion, morals, and monetary funding rather than facts, evidence and proof.   They state that very few kidnapped, forced against their will, physically abused, raped sex slave prostitutes for profit have been found throughout the world. Their research concludes that women who enter into this type of work do so of their own free will.   They also state that there are many anti-prostitution groups who simply do not like the idea of consensual adult prostitution and have distorted the facts in order to push their agenda and receive funding and money into their organizations in the form of donations,  grants and to change the laws about prostitution.  They state that these anti-prostitution groups use made up child sex trafficking statistics which they have no proof or evidence of in order to gain public acceptance for their cause.

Women who travel of their own free will to engage in sex work for money, normally do not tell their families, friends, relatives the real reason they are traveling.  They usually tell the people in their lives back home that they are traveling to engage in legitimate work such as working in a restaurant, hotel, etc.   They do this because they do not want to be thought of as a slut, whore etc.  in their home town. These women would never think of working as a prostitute in their home town where they know a lot of people and would bring disgrace on their family. 

Many anti-prostitution groups distort the facts about this saying that these women were tricked into it against their will expecting to work in a legitimate business.   This is not correct. The women knew about the sex work, but do not want the people in their lives back home to know about it, since it is considered very bad to be thought of as a whore, slut, etc. and would bring disgrace to their family. 

Millions of USA government dollars are being spent to fight a crime that is extremely rare. The US government assumes that all prostitutes on Earth are sex trafficked slaves – Who are kidnapped and forced into having sex against their will.  This is NOT true of MOST Prostitution.

This website blog has some very important links and information about sex trafficking, that you should read. It is updated frequently.   It is important to let the truth be told.   The lying people get all the press.  It is time for the people who tell the truth to get the press.

The numbers of sex trafficking sex slaves:

There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows.  There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government,  The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high.  They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it.  Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves.  Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.

It is not easy for criminals to engage in this acitvity:

Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe.  It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police.  They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met.  They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well.  They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police. This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one.  Kidnapping itself is a serious crime.  There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc.   If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years.

While there are some women who may be true victims. And it is possible for this to happen in rare situations. This is a small rare group of people and that the numbers and scale of this crime is exaggerated. The very nature of someone pulling off a kidnapping and forced sex for profit appears to be very difficult. Since it would be difficult this makes this crime rare. Not impossible, but extremely rare.

A key point is that on the sidelines the prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution.   But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves.  Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.

Many women in the sex business are independent workers.  They don’t have a pimp.

They work for themselves, advertise themselves, and keep all the money for themselves.   No one forces them, because there isn’t anyone to force them. They go out and find their own customers, set their own prices, and arrange everything by themselves.  Sometimes they may employ others to help them, but these are not pimps.  If for example, she hires an internet web design company to make a website for her, does that make the web design company a pimp? If she pays a phone company for a phone to do business, does this make the phone company a pimp? If she puts an ad in the paper, does this make the editor a pimp?  If she puts the money she makes into a bank account does this make the bank a pimp?

A lot of anti prostitution groups would say yes. Everyone and everybody is a pimp.

These groups make up lies, and false statistics that no one bothers to check.  A big reason they do this is because it provides high paying jobs for them.  They get big donations, and grants from the government, charity, churches, etc.  to have these groups, and pay these high salaries of the anti prostitution workers.

Sex Traffficking in Sports Events:

Super Bowl 2011:

According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????????????

Well, as I predicted it was all a big lie told by various anti-prostitution groups and the Dallas Women’s Foundation which is a anti-prostitution group that lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries. As proved in the link below:
Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:

“Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.

“In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/local/20110302-top-fbi-agent-in-dallas-praises-super-bowl-security-effort-sees-no-evidence-of-expected-spike-in-child-sex-trafficking.ece

This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.

Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.

I do not like the idea of people getting the wrong information and believing lies, no matter what the topic is. The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today. It is amazing to me how people will believe such lies so easily. The media is to blame for this. I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest anti-prostitution groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations. If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it. You will be very surprised.
Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the millions of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.

These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies. This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

I would like to see a news organization do a full report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves.  The articles about the super bowl sex slaves, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.

== World Cup 2006 ==

Politicians, religious and aid groups,   still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. A baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added: “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.”  Which has been proven by the German police to be completely false.  Yet people still talk about these false numbers as if it were fact.

==World Cup 2010 ==
Again using the made up number of 40,000 prostitutes trafficked:

The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March it was feared that up to 40,000 extra prostitutes could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand. Bayever, deputy chairperson of South Africa’s Central Drug Authority (CDA) that advises on drug abuse but also works with prostitutes, warned: “Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained.”

But the tournament in 2010, if anything, has seen the modern-day soccer fan attracted to art galleries and museums over brothels.

A trend that has seen a drop in revenue across the board for the prostitution industry, which is illegal in South Africa. “Zobwa,” the chairperson of Sisonke — an action group representing around 70 street prostitutes in Johannesburg — said business had been down over the last month. “The World Cup has been devastating. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it’s chased a lot of the business away. It’s been the worst month in my company’s history,” the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive escort companies told CNN.

In recent years, every time there has been a major international sporting event, a group of government officials, campaigning feminists, pliant journalists and NGOs have claimed that the movement of thousands of men to strange foreign countries where there will be lots of alcohol and horniness will result in the enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Obviously. And every time they have simply doubled the made-up scare figures from the last international sporting event, to make it look like this problem of sport/sex/slavery gets worse year on year.  Yet each year it is proved false.

This myth tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in. These anti-prostitution groups need to in invent a victim that does not exist in order to get press attention.

Below are the few brave souls in the media who told the truth about super bowl sex trafficking:

Sex Trafficking in Sports Events links:

Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:

http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/super-bowl/Super-Bowl-prostitution-prediction-has-no-proof–114983179.html

Dallas newspaper:

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-01-27/news/the-super-bowl-prostitute-myth-100-000-hookers-won-t-be-showing-up-in-dallas/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/super-bowl-prostitution-100-000-hookers-didn-t-show-but-america-s-latest-political-scam-did/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/sex-traffick911-press-release/

Official Lies About Sex-Trafficking Exposed: It’s now clear Anti Prostitution groups used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-03-23/news/women-s-funding-network-sex-trafficking-study-is-junk-science/

== In the USA ==

On August 5, 2008

U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine uncovered discrepancies in a program dedicated to cracking down on human trafficking, McClatchy Newspapers report. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spent millions of dollars on combating the international trafficking of indentured servants and sex slaves, including by creating task forces across the U.S. that identified and helped victims. Over four years, the department paid $50 million to the task forces and other groups. Conservative groups, who pressured the administration to go after sex trafficking more aggressively, applauded his efforts.

Critics have questioned whether the problem was being hyped. Fine found in an audit issued that the task forces and other groups set up to help were ‘significantly’ overstating the number of victims they served. By examining a sampling of cases, Fine found the task forces had exaggerated by as much as 165 percent. Making matters worse, the inflated numbers were included in annual reports to Congress.

The Sex Trafficking/Slavery idea is used to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing.

This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims. Everything I heard about this problem was Americans complaining about it, but I never heard from the so-called victims themselves complaining about it. Why is that?  Many of the self appointed experts complaining about this have never even met or seen a real forced against their will victim.

The problems I see with the sex traffic idea is that suppose some of the women were not forced into this type of prostitution, but were willing and wanted to do this type of work, and went out of their way to do this type of work. (It is a lot of fast easy money, they don’t need a degree, or a green card.)

All they have to do is lie and say that someone forced them into it. When perhaps, no one did.
If a illegal allien for example is the victim all they have to do is lie and here are their benefits based on the USA anti-traffic prostitution laws:

1. They don’t have to go to jail or be arrested.
2. They get to stay and live in America, and become U.S. citizens
3. The U.S. Government will provide them with housing, food, education and will cater to them since they will be considered victims. .  They will be considered victimed refugees, and can become American citizens.

The way I see it is that this USA government system will encourage people to lie in order to receive all the benefits listed above.

While there are some women who may be true victims.  This is a small rare group of people.

What hard evidence does the police have that these women were forced slaves?  Were all the women that the police saw in fact slaves? Did the police prove without a doubt due to hard concrete evidence that the women were victims of being slaves and forced against their will?  Did they account for all the benefits they would receive if they lied?

I find it very hard to believe that most women in this business are forced against their will to do it. It would just be too difficult. There may be some exceptions but, I believe this is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations.  As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

== In the United Kingdom ==

In October, 2009 – The biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Nick Davis of the Guardian newspaper writes:

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.

===In India and Nepal===

If media reports are to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oft-quoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986, and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was from the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, written by AIDS Society of India secretary general, Dr. I S Gilada, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in The Times of India on January 2, 1989. To date, the source of this figure remains a mystery. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.

There needs to be a distinct separation of

1. Child sex trafficking

2. Adult sex Trafficking

3. Adult consensual

prostitution.

4. Sex Slavery

They are not the same.  Adult Women are NOT children.

Media coverage of trafficking and adult women’s migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. The media wrongly uses the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘trafficking’ and adult sex work and child sex trafficking synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatization, and contributing to the violation of women’s right to free movement and livelihood options.  They assume that if any woman moves from place to place for sex work that they are being trafficking. The media, politicians, aid groups, feminist,  and religious organizations does not take into account that she may do this of her own free will.  Too often  women are treated like children. Adult women are not children. Prostitution is a business between adults and in our society adults are responsible for themselves. Sex slavery/trafficking on the other hand is non-consensual.  To equate that the two are the same is to say grown adult women are not capable of being responsible or thinking for themselves.

Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not “passive victims” in need of “saving” or sending back by western campaigners.

Sex Trafficking/Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims. They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult sex worker. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing. These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advange of these “helpless foreign women wives”.

These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

This is an example of feminists and other groups exploiting the suffering of a small minority of vulnerable and abused women in order to further their own collective interests. For example, getting money from the government and Charity into their organizations. Rather than wanting to find the truth.

Non government Organizations (NGO’s) are chiefly responsible for manufacturing “a growing problem” of trafficking in order to generate revenue for their Federally funded cottage industry. They also fabricated numbers by expanding the definition of trafficking to include practically anyone.

For example various women’s groups testified under oath at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (July 13, 2007) that US based matchmaking organizations were correlated to human trafficking ring.
womenspolicy.org/thesource/article.cfm?ArticleID=1442

This hysterical claim was an emotional ploy to get legislators to enact the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. The truth reveals THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A US BASED MATCHMAKING AGENCY ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING. These NGO’s spread their propaganda partnering with Lifetime television(Television for women) conducting a poll among viewers (mostly women) to asociate “mail order brides services” with trafficking of women to generate support for the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. wqad.com/global/story.asp?s=3970595&ClientType=Print

This romance law requires American men submit criminal hard copy records to be reviewed before they can communicate with a foreign lady using a matchmaking organization.
wqad.com/global/story.asp?s=3970595&ClientType=Print

Why should the US government dole out millions of dollars to NGO’s such as Polaris Project whose executives are paid handsome salaries when the money could be spent on REAL PROBLEMS?

Most of the information above relates to Adult prostitution.

The following information is from a report from the Crimes against children research center which talks about the Unknown Exaggerated Statistics of Juvenile Prostitution.

Crimes against Children Research Center ● University of New Hampshire ● 126 Horton Social Science Center ● Durham, NH 03824 (603) 862‐1888●Fax: (603) 862‐1122●www.unh.edu/ccrc

How Many Juveniles are Involved in Prostitution in the U.S.?

There have been many attempts to estimate the number of juvenile prostitutes within the United States. These estimates range from 1,400 to 2.4 million, although most fall between 300,000 and 600,000. BUT PLEASE DO NOT CITE THESE NUMBERS. READ ON. A close look at these diverse estimates reveals that none are based on a strong scientific foundation. They are mostly educated guesses or extrapolations based on questionable assumptions. They do not have the substance of typically reported crime statistics, like the number of robberies or the number of child sexual abuse victims. The reality is that we do not currently know how many juveniles are involved in prostitution. Scientifically credible estimates do not exist.

The most often cited estimates on juvenile prostitution will be described here and their source, along with the major problems with their validity. Estes and WeinerPerhaps the most commonly used estimate of juvenile prostitution comes from Estes and Weiner (2001). These authors concluded in a large, publicized report that about 326,000 children were “at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.” However, there are several problems with treating this number as an estimate of juvenile prostitution. First, although this is often cited as an estimate of juvenile prostitutes, even the authors call it something muchmore nebulous: youth “at risk” of commercial sexual exploitation. “At risk” means it is compilation of youth in various categories (14 in total) – like runaway kids, female gangmembers – who could become or be involved in commercial sexual exploitation. But the authors had no evidence of how many or what proportion of these youth actually were involved. Secondly, the numbers that form the basis of their various “at risk” categories are themselves highly speculative. One large portion of the estimate is simply a crude guess that 35% of a national estimate of runaway youth out of their home a week or longer were “at risk”. Another large portion was a guess that one quarter of 1% of the general population of youth 10‐17 were “at risk”. Together these two groups constitute nearly 200,000 of the at risk youth. But it is essentially a guesstimate and not a scientific estimate.

A third problem is that no one has any idea how much duplication there is among the 14 at risk groups. Some of the runaways are also gang members and living in public housing, etc. so one cannot simply add together estimates from these various sources. A scientific estimate would have to “unduplicate” the numbers from the various categories. In sum, no one should cite the 326,000 number from Estes and Weiner as a scientifically based estimate of the number of juvenile prostitutes. AddHealth Survey Another estimate with some research credibility is from a recent study by Edwards, Iritani, and Hallfors (2005), which found that 3.5% of an AddHealth sample endorsed an item asking if they had “ever exchanged sex for drugs or money.” The nationally representative sample was comprised of 13,294 youth in grades 8‐12 during the year 1996 who completed an in‐school questionnaire. The majority (67.9%) of those saying they had participated in a sex exchange were males.

A first caveat about this estimate is that it is not clear that what the respondents were endorsing really constituted prostitution. For example, could a juvenile who had paid a prostitute for sex consider that to have been an “exchange of sex for money” and thus said yes to the question? Could a sexual encounter that involved sharing drugs with a partner as part of consensual sex have prompted someone to say yes to the question, even though the drugs were not necessarily a sine qua non of the sexual encounter? The similarity between prostitution and exchanging sex for goods needs to be clarified if this estimate is to be accepted as an estimate of juvenile prostitution. In addition, the fact that the majority of those endorsing the question were boys raises an important validity question about this estimate. Virtually no analyst of the problem thinks that there are truly so many more boys than girls engaged in juvenile prostitution; because the survey found more boys engaging in prostitution, there may be some misunderstanding of the

question at work. It may be possible to obtain an incidence estimate for juvenile prostitution through a general population survey, but the questions and details will have to be more specific to confirm that what is being counted is truly prostitution or sexual exploitation. General Accounting Office Report In 1982, the General Accounting Office attempted to determine the basis of existing juvenile prostitution estimates. The General Accounting Office (1982) found that the “general perception” estimates ranged from “tens of thousands to 2.4 million.” One set of estimates from 1982 seemed to trace back to the “gut hunches” of Robin Lloyd, the author of the 1976 book, “For Love or Money: Boy Prostitution in America,” who used a working figure of 300,000 male juvenile prostitutes. The President of the Odyssey Institute adopted this figure, then doubled it to cover female juvenile prostitutes, increasing the estimate to 600,000. Because the Odyssey Institute president believed that only half of juvenile prostitutes were known, the 600,000 figure was doubled; the estimate was doubled once more to 2.4 million because the president believed that the estimate did not include 16 and 17 year old prostitutes. These were

all just hunches without scientific basis. The General Accounting Office (1982) report also located an estimate by the Criminal Justice Institute Inc., which stated that 20 to 25 percent of all prostitutes were juveniles. The Criminal Justice Institute, Inc. estimated that there were 450,000 prostitutes of all ages, leading to an estimate of 90,000 to 112,500 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S. However, these Criminal Justice Institute Inc. estimates are not linked to any citation for methodological verification or explanation. Finally, a New York City shelter president estimated that there were “tens of thousands” of juvenile prostitutes across the nation. These “gut hunch” statistics assembled by the General Accounting Office may have been the basis for some rough consensus about the magnitude of juvenile prostitution among advocates. But there were no hard statistics. Moreover, whatever the rates were in the 1970s and 1980s, they almost certainly no longer apply. That was an era when the juvenile runaway problem was considerably larger than at present. There is indication that since the 1970s and ‘80s, running away has declined (Finkelhor & Jones, 2006) and, in the era of AIDS, casual sexual behavior among the young has also become less frequent (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2005). So it is likely that estimates from 20 or 30 years ago have little applicability to the U.S. at

the present time. Despite the fact that the General Accounting Office estimates are obsolete, current groups concerned with child welfare still use this estimate. For example, Children of the Night (http://www.childrenofthenight.org/faq.html) cites the 1982 General Accounting Office estimate of 600,000 juvenile prostitutes under the age of 16. This organization also cites UNICEF estimates of 300,000 juvenile prostitutes (In a 2004 textbook entitled “Child Labour: A Textbook for University Students”, the International Labour Organization cites the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as estimating 300,000 juvenile prostitutes. When asked to verify this, U.S. DHHS could not locate this estimate.). When asked about the estimates on the Children of the Night website, founder and President Lois Lee responded: “I am always pressured for statistics and I have said, there is no way to know for sure because there is no counting mechanism, no quantitative analysis on the subject. Several years ago, I suggested to a lot of [government] agencies and NGO’s that about 1/3rd of all runaways have some kind of “brush” with a pimp or prostitution. All the professionals agreed that was a good estimate. UNICEF published it as their own.” L. Lee (personal communication, September 29, 2007).

A considerable number of the estimates of juvenile prostitution do start with more scientifically based survey statistics on running away (for example, Hammer, Finkelhor & Sedlak, 2002), which suggest that hundreds of thousands of youth runaway every year. It might seem plausible that a significant percentage of runaway street youths engage in survival sex or get recruited into prostitution. But it is important to remember that most of the youth identified as runaways in survey samples are not truly on the streets (Hammer et al., 2002). Most runaways run to the homes of friends and family. Thus, it is not accurate to simply think about the experience of street runaways and generalize from that experience to the experience of all runaways.

Other Estimates Other organizations do not cite sources that have reliable methodologies. The Coalition against Trafficking in Women (http://www.catwinternational.org/factbook/usa2_prost.php) estimates that there are between 300,000 and 600,000 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S., citing a Beacon

Journal news article from 1997. The article, entitled “Danger for Prostitutes Increasing, Most Starting Younger,” cited Gary Costello of the Exploited Child Unit of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but did not include a discussion of the way that the estimate was calculated. The 1995 Progress of Nations report by UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/pon95/progtoc.html) offers a “guesstimate” of 300,000 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S. under the age of 18. The UNICEF report cited a U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate used inUNICEF’s “Breaking the Walls of Silence: A UNICEF Background Paper on the Sexual Exploitation of Children” report from 1994. Again, there was no discussion as to how this number was derived in the Progress of Nations report. Similarly, the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html) reports that 293,000 juveniles are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation. This estimate was made based on the Estes and Weiner (2001) article discussed previously.

Some figures about the related problem of “sex trafficking of children” are also available, but once again with a speculative methodology, a “computer simulation.” Clawson, Layne, and Small (2006) estimated in a very statistically complicated report that over 800,000 females, including over 100,000 under age 19, were “at risk” of being trafficked to the US from eight nations: Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico. These include trafficking for all purposes including for employment. Of those at risk, the authors estimate that roughly 15,000 females under nineteen were being trafficked for sex from those nations. However, the authors concede that these estimates are not informed by any real statistics or research about the true rates of adult or child sex trafficking, but rather that the estimates are “probabilit[ies] based on a mathematical equation, not a reality” (M. Layne 2/4/2008). Police Data

There are also national estimates from law enforcement sources about the number of juveniles taken into custody because of prostitution and related crimes. For example, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data analyzed by Snyder and Sickmund (2006) shows that 1,400 juveniles were arrested nationally in 2003 for prostitution and commercialized vice. These data come from aggregating data from most of the local law enforcement agencies in the U.S., and are the same data used to estimate year‐to‐year estimates in violent and property crime. This is a plausible estimate of the number of youth arrested for prostitution and commercialized vice because, in truth, not many law enforcement agencies are actively arresting youth in regard to this problem, as a soon to be released CCRC study will show. But there is undoubtedly more prostitution involving youth; law enforcement officials believe many youths involved in prostitution are arrested for other crimes (e.g., drug possession, curfew violation, etc.) but not prostitution per se. Most observers believe also that there are also many youth engaged in prostitution who are never arrested by police. So, while this UCR estimate is plausible, no one believes this estimate fully characterizes the problem. It is rarely cited, even as part of a spectrum of estimates, perhaps because it would so lower the range as to make the higher estimates seem more extreme.

Conclusion As the critique of estimates suggest, there is currently no reliable estimate of juvenile prostitution. Some current estimates are based upon “gut hunches” and “guesstimates” from almost thirty years ago. Others offer definitions of sexual exchange that may not actually constitute prostitution. Also, the methods used to create these estimates are often difficult to find, making them methodologically suspect. These organizations often recognize these problems but continue to cite such poorly calculated estimates. People concerned about the problem very much want there to be a number that they can cite. Because other people have cited numbers, there has come to be a “collective intuition” about the rough magnitude based on these earlier claims. But in reality there is little scientific substance behind any of them. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in social problem analysis and has been called the “Woozle Effect” (Gelles 1980). The “Woozle Effect” occurs when one writer reports an estimate based on a typically weak methodology or guesstimate that is subsequently cited by other writers, but without the first writer’s caveats (Gelles 1980). Estimates of juvenile prostitution seem to have taken this path: the “gut hunches” of one author and the compiling of such hunches by the General Accounting Office have seemed to provide a basis for contemporary estimates of juvenile prostitution, despite the fact that the General Accounting Office states that the estimates in the literature are “general perceptions” (General Accounting Office, 1982).

What are journalists and scholars to do?

It is our suggestion that in the absence of any estimates with any good scientific basis, that scholars, writers and advocates stop using the unsubstantiated estimates and simply indicate that the true incidence is currently unknown. It is very frustrating to write about a topic and not have an estimate of its magnitude, but we believe that continued citation of unsupported estimates gives them credibility. Even writing that “No one knows how many juveniles are engaged in prostitution, but estimates have been made from 1,400 to 2.4 million,” contributes to the problem. It gives people the impression that these are knowledgeable estimates about the current situation and that the real number lies somewhere in the middle of that range, which it may not. For brief treatments of the problem, one can say simply: “Unfortunately, there are no credible or supported estimates about the size of the problem.” For more extended treatments of the problem, one can cite some of the statistics, but then indicate that these numbers are based mostly on guesses or extremely imprecise and speculative methodologies. It would be a good idea when citing any numbers to be sure to include the low end estimate from law enforcement of 1,400, since this is among the most recent and clearly defined of the estimates, and counters the assumption that all the estimates are large.    Crimes against Children Research Center ● University of New Hampshire ● 126 Horton Social Science Center ● Durham, NH 03824(603) 862‐1888●Fax: (603) 862‐1122●www.unh.edu/ccrcFact sheet written by Michelle Stransky and David Finkelhor. (2008)

From the Department of Justice Stats pages:

Human Trafficking/Trafficking in Persons

According to The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and its 2003, 2005, and 2008, human trafficking has occurred if a person was induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Any person under age 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion were present.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) funded the creation of the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS). This system provides data on human trafficking incidents investigated between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008.

An incident is defined as any investigation into a claim of human trafficking or any investigation of other crimes in which elements of potential human trafficking were identified.

Summary Findings

Between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008 task forces reported investigating 1,229 alleged incidents of human trafficking.

  • About 78% of these incidents were still under investigation at the end of the reporting period. Investigations were completed and closed during the 21-month reporting period for the remaining 22%.
  • Less than 10% of alleged human trafficking incidents reported by task forces were confirmed as human trafficking, 10% were pending confirmation, and 23% had been determined not to involve any human trafficking elements.
  • Sex trafficking accounted for 83% of the alleged incidents,12% involved allegations of either labor trafficking, and 5% were other/unknown forms of human trafficking.

Of the 1,018 alleged sex trafficking incidents reported by task forces —

  • 391 (38%) involved allegations of child sex trafficking and 627 (62%) incidents involved allegations of adult sex trafficking, such as forced prostitution or other sex trafficking crimes.
  • Forced prostitution (46%) and child sex trafficking (30%) represented the largest categories of confirmed human trafficking incidents.
  • Allegations of forced or coerced adult prostitution accounted for 63% of human trafficking investigations that were ultimately found not to involve human trafficking elements.

Below is a article from the Washington Post:

Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence.

U.S. Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Outrage was mounting at the 1999 hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building, where congressmen were learning about human trafficking.

A woman from Nepal testified that September that she had been drugged, abducted and forced to work at a brothel in Bombay. A Christian activist recounted tales of women overseas being beaten with electrical cords and raped. A State Department official said Congress must act — 50,000 slaves were pouring into the United States every year, she said. Furious about the “tidal wave” of victims, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) vowed to crack down on so-called modern-day slavery.

The next year, Congress passed a law, triggering a little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking that began at the end of the Clinton administration and is now a top Bush administration priority. As part of the fight, President Bush has blanketed the nation with 42 Justice Department task forces and spent more than $150 million — all to find and help the estimated hundreds of thousands of victims of forced prostitution or labor in the United States.

But the government couldn’t find them. Not in this country.

The evidence and testimony presented to Congress pointed to a problem overseas. But in the seven years since the law was passed, human trafficking has not become a major domestic issue, according to the government’s figures.

The administration has identified 1,362 victims of human trafficking brought into the United States since 2000, nowhere near the 50,000 a year the government had estimated. In addition, 148 federal cases have been brought nationwide, some by the Justice task forces, which are composed of prosecutors, agents from the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement officials in areas thought to be hubs of trafficking.

In the Washington region, there have been about 15 federal cases this decade.

Ronald Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University and an expert on sex trafficking, said that trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims often fear coming forward. He said that might account for some of the disparity in the numbers, but only a small amount.

“The discrepancy between the alleged number of victims per year and the number of cases they’ve been able to make is so huge that it’s got to raise major questions,” Weitzer said. “It suggests that this problem is being blown way out of proportion.”

Government officials define trafficking as holding someone in a workplace through force, fraud or coercion. Trafficking generally takes two forms: sex or labor. The victims in most prosecutions in the Washington area have been people forced into prostitution. The Department of Health and Human Services “certifies” trafficking victims in the United States after verifying that they were subjected to forced sex or labor. Only non-U.S. citizens brought into this country by traffickers are eligible to be certified, entitling them to receive U.S. government benefits.

Administration officials acknowledge that they have found fewer victims than anticipated. Brent Orrell, an HHS deputy assistant secretary, said that certifications are increasing and that the agency is working hard to “help identify many more victims.” He also said: “We still have a long way to go.”

But Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, said that the issue is “not about the numbers. It’s really about the crime and how horrific it is.” Fratto also said the domestic response to trafficking “cannot be ripped out of the context” of the U.S. government’s effort to fight it abroad. “We have an obligation to set an example for the rest of the world, so if we have this global initiative to stop human trafficking and slavery, how can we tolerate even a minimal number within our own borders?”

He said that the president’s passion about fighting trafficking is motivated in part by his Christian faith and his outrage at the crime. “It’s a practice that he obviously finds disgusting, as most rational people would, and he wants America to be the leader in ending it,” Fratto said. “He sees it as a moral obligation.”

Although there have been several estimates over the years, the number that helped fuel the congressional response — 50,000 victims a year — was an unscientific estimate by a CIA analyst who relied mainly on clippings from foreign newspapers, according to government sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the agency’s methods. Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told Congress last year that a much lower estimate in 2004 — 14,500 to 17,500 a year — might also have been overstated.

Yet the government spent $28.5 million in 2006 to fight human trafficking in the United States, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. The effort has attracted strong bipartisan support.

Steven Wagner, who helped HHS distribute millions of dollars in grants to community groups to find and assist victims, said “Those funds were wasted.”

“Many of the organizations that received grants didn’t really have to do anything,” said Wagner, former head of HHS’s anti-trafficking program. “They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”

Still, the raw emotion of the issue internationally and domestically has spawned dozens of activist organizations that fight trafficking. They include the Polaris Project, which was founded in 2002 by two college students, and the Washington-based Break the Chain Campaign, which started in the mid-1990s focusing on exploited migrant workers before concentrating on trafficking after 2000.

Activist groups and administration officials strongly defend their efforts, saying that trafficking is a terrible crime and that even one case is too many. They said that cultural obstacles and other impediments prevent victims from coming forward.

Mark P. Lagon, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that such problems make the numbers “naturally murky. . . . There are vigorous U.S. government efforts to find and help victims in the United States, not because there is some magic number that we have a gut instinct is out there. Any estimate we’re citing, we’ve always said, is an estimate.”

But Lagon said he is convinced that “thousands upon thousands of people are subject to gross exploitation” in the United States.

Few question that trafficking is a serious problem in many countries, and the U.S. government has spent more than half a billion dollars fighting it around the world since 2000.

Last year, anti-trafficking projects overseas included $3.4 million to help El Salvador fight child labor and $175,000 for community development training for women in remote Mekong Delta villages in Vietnam, according to the State Department. Human trafficking, in the United States and abroad, is under attack by 10 federal agencies that report to a Cabinet-level task force chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the United States, activists say that trafficking has received far more attention than crimes such as domestic violence, of which there are hundreds of thousands of documented victims every year.

The quest to find and help victims of trafficking has become so urgent that the Bush administration hired a public relations firm, a highly unusual approach to fighting crime. Ketchum, a New York-based public relations firm, has received $9.5 million and has been awarded $2.5 million more.

“We’re giving money to Ketchum so they can train people who can train people who can train people to serve victims,” said one Washington area provider of services for trafficking victims, who receives government funding and spoke on condition of anonymity. “Trafficking victims are hidden. They’re not really going to be affected by a big, splashy PR campaign. They’re not watching Lifetime television.”

Yet the anti-trafficking crusade goes on, partly because of the issue’s uniquely nonpartisan appeal. In the past four years, more than half of all states have passed anti-trafficking laws, although local prosecutions have been rare.

“There’s huge political momentum, because this is a no-brainer issue,” said Derek Ellerman, co-founder of the Polaris Project. “No one is going to stand up and oppose fighting modern-day slavery.”

A Matter of Faith
Throughout the 1990s, evangelicals and other Christians grew increasingly concerned about international human rights, fueled by religious persecution in Sudan and other countries. They were also rediscovering a tradition of social reform dating to when Christians fought the slave trade of an earlier era.

Human trafficking has always been a problem in some cultures but increased in the early 1990s, experts say.

For conservative Christians, trafficking was “a clear-cut, uncontroversial, terrible thing going on in the world,” said Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission in Arlington, a Christian human rights group.

Feminist groups and other organizations also seized on trafficking, and a 1999 meeting at the Capitol, organized by former Nixon White House aide Charles W. Colson, helped seal a coalition. The session in the office of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) brought together the Southern Baptist Convention, conservative William Bennett and Rabbi David Saperstein, a prominent Reform Jewish activist.

The session focused only on trafficking victims overseas, said Mariam Bell, national public policy director for Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministries.

“It was just ghastly stuff,” Armey recalled last week, saying that he immediately agreed to support an anti-trafficking law. “I felt a sense of urgency that this must be done, and as soon as possible.”

A New Law
A law was more likely to be enacted if its advocates could quantify the issue. During a PowerPoint presentation in April 1999, the CIA provided an estimate: 45,000 to 50,000 women and children were trafficked into the United States every year.

The CIA briefing emerged from the Clinton administration’s growing interest in the problem. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had been pushing the issue, former administration officials said.

But information was scarce, so a CIA analyst was told to assess the problem in the United States and abroad. She combed through intelligence reports and law enforcement data. Her main source, however, was news clippings about trafficking cases overseas — from which she tried to extrapolate the number of U.S. victims.

The CIA estimate soon appeared in a report by a State Department analyst that was the U.S. government’s first comprehensive assessment of trafficking. State Department officials raised the alarm about victims trafficked into the United States when they appeared before Congress in 1999 and 2000, citing the CIA estimate. A Justice Department official testified that the number might have been 100,000 each year.

The congressional hearings focused mostly on trafficking overseas. At the House hearing in September 1999, Rep. Earl F. Hilliard (D-Ala.) changed the subject and zeroed in on Laura J. Lederer, a Harvard University expert on trafficking.

“How prevalent is the sex trade here in this country?” Hilliard asked.

“We have so very little information on this subject in this country. . . . so very few facts,” Lederer said.

“Excuse me, but is the sex trade prevalent here?” Hilliard asked.

Nobody knows, Lederer said.

Bipartisan passion melted any uncertainty, and in October 2000, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, significantly broadening the federal definition of trafficking. Prosecutors would no longer have to rely on statutes that required them to prove a victim had been subjected to physical violence or restraints, such as chains. Now, a federal case could be made if a trafficker had psychologically abused a victim.

The measure toughened penalties against traffickers, provided extensive services for victims and committed the United States to a leading role internationally, requiring the State Department to rank countries and impose sanctions if their anti-trafficking efforts fell short.

The law’s fifth sentence says: “Congress finds that . . . approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year.”

Raising Awareness
Just as the law took effect, along came a new president to enforce it.

Bell, with Prison Fellowship Ministries, noted that when Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly in 2003, he focused on the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism and the war on trafficking.

Soon after Bush took office, a network of anti-trafficking nonprofit agencies arose, spurred in part by an infusion of federal dollars.

HHS officials were determined to raise public awareness and encourage victims to come forward. For help, they turned to Ketchum in 2003.

Legal experts said they hadn’t heard of hiring a public relations firm to fight a crime problem. Wagner, who took over HHS’s anti-trafficking program in 2003, said that the strategy was “extremely unusual” but that creative measures were needed.

“The victims of this crime won’t come forward. Law enforcement doesn’t handle that very well, when they have to go out and find a crime,” he said.

Ketchum, whose Washington lobbying arm is chaired by former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), formed coalitions of community groups in two states and 19 cities, to search for and aid victims. The coalition effort was overseen by a subcontractor, Washington-based Capital City Partners, whose executives during the period of oversight have included the former heads of the Fund for a Conservative Majority and the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, in addition to the former editorial page editor of the conservative Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader newspaper.

Trying to Get the Number Right
Three years ago, the government downsized its estimate of trafficking victims, but even those numbers have not been borne out.

The effort to acquire a more precise number had begun at the Library of Congress and Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, where graduate students on a CIA contract stayed up nights, using the Internet to find clippings from foreign newspapers.

Once again, the agency was using mainly news clips from foreign media to estimate the numbers of trafficking victims, along with reports from government agencies and anti-trafficking groups. The students at Mercyhurst, a school known for its intelligence studies program, were enlisted to help.

But their work was thought to be inconsistent, said officials at the Government Accountability Office, which criticized the government’s trafficking numbers in a report last year.

A part-time researcher at the Library of Congress took over the project. “The numbers were totally unreliable,” said David Osborne, head of research for the library’s federal research division. “If it was reported that 15 women were trafficked from Romania into France, French media might pick it up and say 32 women and someone else would say 45.”

A CIA analyst ran the research through a computer simulation program, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing the CIA’s methods. It spat out estimates of destination countries for trafficking victims worldwide. The new number of victims trafficked into the United States: 14,500 to 17,500 each year.

The simulation is considered a valid way to measure probability if the underlying data are reliable. “It seems incredibly unlikely that this was a robust, sound analysis,” said David Banks, a statistics professor at Duke University.

The CIA’s new estimate, which first appeared in a 2004 State Department report, has been widely quoted, including by a senior Justice Department official at a media briefing this year. It’s also posted on the HHS Web site.

The Justice Department’s human trafficking task force in Washington has mounted an aggressive effort to find victims.

But at a meeting of the task force this year, then-coordinator Sharon Marcus-Kurn said that detectives had spent “umpteen hours of overtime” repeatedly interviewing women found in Korean- and Hispanic-owned brothels. “It’s very difficult to find any underlying trafficking that is there,” Marcus-Kurn told the group.

People trafficked into the United States have traditionally been the focus of the crackdown. In recent years, there has been increasing debate about whether the victim estimates should include U.S. citizens. For example, adult U.S. citizens forced into prostitution are also trafficking victims under federal law, but some say that such cases should be left to local police.

D.C.: A Trafficking Hub?
In a classroom at the D.C. police academy in January, President Bush appears on a screen at a mandatory training session in how to investigate and identify trafficking. The 55 officers who attended watch a slide show featuring testimonials from government officials and a clip from Bush’s 2003 speech to the United Nations.

Sally Stoecker, lead researcher for Shared Hope International in Arlington, which aims to increase awareness of sex trafficking, takes the microphone. “It’s a huge crime, and it’s continuing to grow,” Stoecker says, citing the government’s most recent estimate of victims.

The D.C. officers are among thousands of law enforcement officials nationwide who have been trained in how to spot trafficking. In Montgomery County, police have investigated numerous brothels since the force was trained in 2005 and last year. Officers have found a few trafficking victims, but there have been no prosecutions.

The Justice Department runs law enforcement task forces across the country. It’s a top priority for the department’s Civil Rights Division.

Justice officials have said there has been a 600 percent increase in U.S. cases. But the department said in a report last September: “In absolute numbers, it is true that the prosecution figures pale in comparison to the estimated scope of the problem.”

The 148 cases filed this decade by the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s offices might not include what Justice officials call a limited number of child trafficking prosecutions by the Criminal Division, Justice officials said Friday. They could not provide a number.

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard E. Trodden, who studied trafficking for the Virginia Crime Commission, said he doesn’t know of any local prosecutions in Northern Virginia.

Nearly seven years after it began, the anti-trafficking campaign rolls on.

“This is important for me personally,” Gonzales said in January as he announced the creation of a Justice Department unit to focus on trafficking cases. Encouraged by Gonzales, who sent letters to all 50 governors, states continued to pass anti-trafficking laws.

Maryland enacted a law in May that toughens penalties.

Virginia has not taken legislative action; some legislators have said that a law isn’t needed.

HHS is still paying people to find victims. Last fall, the agency announced $3.4 million in new “street outreach” awards to 22 groups nationwide.

Nearly $125,000 went to Mosaic Family Services, a nonprofit agency in Dallas. For the past year, its employees have put out the word to hospitals, police stations, domestic violence shelters — any organization that might come into contact with a victim.

“They’re doing about a thousand different things,” said Bill Bernstein, Mosaic’s deputy director.

Three victims were found.

The Super Bowl Prostitute Myth: 100,000 Hookers Won’t Be Showing Up in Dallas

By Pete Kotz: From the Dallas Observer newspaper

published: January 27, 2011

The alarm bells reached peak decibel in November, when Dallas Police Sergeant Louis Felini told the The Dallas Morning News that between 50,000 and 100,000 prostitutes could descend on the metroplex for the Super Bowl. The call to outrage had sounded.

His estimate was astonishing. At the higher figure, it meant that every man, woman and child holding a ticket would have their own personal hooker, from the vice presidential wing of FedEx to Little Timmy from Green Bay.

And if you believed a study commissioned by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the hordes would include 38,000 underage prostitutes. Doe-eyed beauties from the Heartland would be peddled like Jell-O shots at the Delta Phi soiree.

Official Dallas would not be caught flat-footed. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the FBI pledged extra manpower to fight “human trafficking.” The Arlington Police Department put up billboards near Cowboys Stadium. They featured flashing photos of busted johns, warning visitors: We don’t take kindly to perverts like you, son.

Even the Shapiro Law Firm leaped in. Noting that an estimated 40,000 hookers showed up in Dallas for the NBA All-Star game last year, it wanted to make sure that, should a hedge fund manager find himself ensnared in naked compromise, “our attorneys provide experienced defense for sex crimes, including the solicitation of a prostitute.”

The city was gearing up for a massive invasion of skanks and sex fiends. It would be like Normandy, only with way more plastic surgery—the largest single gathering of freaks and pedophiles the world has ever seen. At least outside of a Vatican staff meeting.

But if Dallas is like any other Super Bowl—or Olympics or World Cup, for that matter—today’s four-alarm panic will tinkle as softly as a servant’s bell by next week. All evidence says that America’s call girls will be at home, watching the game of TV, just like you and me.

Judging by Super Bowls past, the mass migration of teenage sex slaves is nothing more than myth.

Read between his very terse lines, and you can tell that Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear from mopes like yours truly, wondering why his customers are adulterers and child molesters.

The routine is the same in every Super Bowl city. The media beats the drum of impending invasion, warning that anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 hookers will soon arrive. Politicians lather on their special sauce of manufactured outrage. Cops and prosecutors vow stings and beefed up manpower.

By implication, the NFL’s wealthiest and most connected fans—captains of industry and senators from Utah—will be plotting a week of sexual rampage not seen since the Vikings sailed on Scotland. And they must be stopped.

“This is urban legend that is pure pulp fiction,” the NFL’s McCarthy says. “I would refer you to your local law enforcement officials.”

So that’s what we did. Meet police Sergeant Tommy Thompson of Phoenix, which hosted the 2008 Super Bowl. “We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes,” Thompson says of his vice cops. “They didn’t notice any sort of glitch in the number of prostitution arrests leading up to the Super Bowl.”

Conspicuously noted: He doesn’t recall a single arrest of an underage girl.

Perhaps Phoenix was an anomaly. So let’s go to Tampa, host of Super Bowl 2009. Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis says her department ran special operations on the sex trade. They came up empty. “We didn’t see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa,” she says. “The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same.”

Now it could be that both departments are incompetent, mistaking tens of thousands of women in fishnet stockings for a very large synchronized swimming team. So let’s travel to Europe, where the hooker influx for the World Cup is routinely pegged at 40,000. If anyone’s going to break the record for the world’s largest orgy, it’s the Godless Eurotrash, right?

Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup. U.S congressmen warned the promiscuous Krauts that fleshly opportunism would not be tolerated. So the government spent millions of euros to crush human trafficking. No one could say the Germans were perv enablers.

But apparently 39,995 of the blasphemers had carburetor trouble in Prague and never showed. The final Cup tally for forced prostitution arrests: 5. German brothels couldn’t even report a surge in business. And a further study by the Swedish government ruled “the 40,000 estimate was unfounded and unrealistic.”

There don’t appear to be solid figures for last summer’s South African Cup, but anecdotal evidence says the sex business was slow.

The only concrete numbers we have: Museums showed record attendance.

This isn’t to say that the sex trade isn’t alive and well. It is. Nor is it to imply there are no such thing as teen prostitutes. There are. The problem is that most of what we believe remains fixed in a blaxploitation film from 1973, where menacing pimps named Lester beat their weeping charges with diamond-encrusted canes.

Ask Maggie McNeill.

That’s not her real name. It’s the pen name she uses on her website, The Honest Courtesan, where she dispenses wisdom on all things hooker. She ran an escort service in New Orleans for six years, supplying ladies for the 2002 Super Bowl. As she sees it, almost all we believe about the industry is fallacy.

“Pimps do exist,” she says, “but they’re a relatively rare phenomenon.” The vast majority of hookers are willing, independent contractors.

Underage hookers are also “extremely rare,” McNeill says. Over the years, she fielded a few hundred applications from ladies of the eve. Only one didn’t pass a drivers license check.

Sure, there are exceptions. But McNeill doesn’t think huge numbers of hookers are going anywhere. And they won’t be heading to Dallas for a very simple reason: Sporting events suck for the sex trade.

The younger fans have already spent thousands on jacked-up hotel rates, airfare and scalped tickets, she says. They only have enough left to nurse Bud Lights and Jäger bombs.

The executive caste may have money to burn, but most bring their families along. “What do they say to their wives?” McNeill asks. “‘Hey honey, I’m going to see a hooker now?'”

As for McNeill’s experience during Super Bowl week in New Orleans: “I really saw no change whatsoever.”

So how do these myths get started? Through good intentions, of course.

There’s no way to quantify the number of hookers, since most women won’t admit to their profession. Public confession only brings an audit from the IRS or a visit from child welfare workers.

That leaves the outside world to speculate—usually with stats only appreciated after eight beers near closing time. Professors pitch junk studies whereby every runaway girl is a potential prostitute.

Advocacy groups take those numbers and fan them by the thousands, buffing them with lurid anecdotes of “sex slaves” and “victims of human trafficking.” The fervent simply can’t believe that isolated cases are just that: isolated.

But it’s hard to kindle interest in the world’s oldest profession. So they latch onto the occasional news story or CNN special. After all, children in distress sell.

“Underage girls make better victims, better poster children,” says McNeill, a former librarian with a master’s from LSU. “I’m 44. What kind of believable victim would I make?”

The study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation shows how the numbers are baked. It hired a company to gauge the percentage of juvenile hookers in Dallas. Its scientific method: Look at online escort ads and guess the ages of the women pictured!

Never mind that escort services often yank said photos from the Internet to put their most sultry visual forward. And never mind that such methodology wouldn’t pass muster at Mert’s Discount Community College & Small Engine Repair.

The company still decreed that 38 percent of Dallas hookers were underage!

(Disclosure: The Dallas Observer and Backpage are owned by the same parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings.)

Not ones to miss 30 seconds of free air time, that’s when the politicians climb aboard. After all, what would you rather do? Be fitted for the role of child-rescuing hero at a congressional hearing or a press conference? Or sit down to the complex, painful task of addressing America’s age-old runaway problem?

Of course, we in the media are equally culpable. We dutifully relay the fraud via our Patented Brand of Unquestioning Stenography, rarely bothering to check if it’s remotely plausible. And by this time, there’s no going back. The fraud must be upheld. Charities have raised money to help the innocents. Politicians have brayed and task forces have been appointed. Editors and news directors have ordered five-part series. No one wants to look like a moron.

But the week after every Super Bowl, they all go quiet.

Either the 100,000 hookers never showed, or they were in dastardly possession of super invisible powers.

Maybe it will be different in Dallas, with its all-hands-on-deck vigilance. Perhaps next week’s dockets will be sagging with thousands of runaway middle-school volleyball stars. Perhaps the Shapiro Law Firm will be giving a bulk rate to the entire roster of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Perhaps.

Super Bowl prostitution: 100,000 hookers didn’t show, but America’s latest political scam did.

Pete Kotz:  From the Dallas Observer newspaper

published: March 03, 2011

Had elected officials done even the slightest research, they would have known it was myth. But this had little to do with protecting women and children. Think of it as a combination religious revival and political scam.

Politicians, women’s groups, cops and child advocates were predicting that up to 100,000 hookers would be shipped into Dallas for the Super Bowl. It would be akin to the invasion of Normandy—with silicone and come-hither poses at no extra charge.

Yet someone forgot to tell America’s prostitutes they had an appointment with destiny. The arrest numbers are now in. The hookers failed to show.

It was folly from the outset, of course. To buy the hype, you had to believe that the NFL’s wealthiest fans stuffed their carry-on luggage with searing libidinal hunger. Though by day they pretended to be mercantile saints from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, they were actually marauding sex fiends. Their plot: Turn Hilton hot tubs into naked versions of the New York Stock Exchange.

And if that wasn’t enough to scare the good citizens of Dallas, women’s groups slathered the plot with surplus outrage. Up to 38,000 of these hookers would be child sex slaves, according to a study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation. They’d presumably been kidnapped en masse while waiting in line at the mall Cinnabon, then shipped to Dallas for deflowering by venture capitalists and frozen-food barons.

America’s human trafficking epidemic was coming to North Texas. The Super Bowl would be ground zero.

Conveniently, the same people making the claims reserved the roles of hero for themselves. Worry not, good people of Dallas: They would repel the infidels at the city gates.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott puffed his chest and promised dozens of extra bodies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security linked arms with 13 state and local police agencies in a task force. Even the airline industry leaped in, training flight attendants to spot the indentured.

Linda Smith, a former Washington congresswoman and founder of Shared Hope International, announced her date with gallantry in The Dallas Morning News. “Now that I know it, I have no choice but to stand and fight,” she said. “This is just brutal, brutal slavery of girls.”

Deena Graves, executive director of the Christian group Traffick911, took it even further, framing the clash as nothing short of Jesus vs. Depravity. God Himself had naturally anointed her as His general.

“We believe, without a doubt, that God gave us the Super Bowl this year to raise awareness of what’s happening with these kids,” she told the Morning News.

But since they hadn’t bothered to do the research, they would be forced to clash swords with an imaginary foe. Such is the burden of the selfless crusader.

From Germany to Miami, the same hysteria precedes every big sporting event, be it the Super Bowl, the World Cup, or the Olympics. The only difference is that Dallas, befitting its perch as buckle of the Bible Belt, jacked up the decibels.

Before every big game, church bells ring of a massive hooker invasion. Incurious newspapers parrot the claims;a five-minute Google search being too much trouble. Then politicians and activists climb aboard.

The recipe for civic panic is placed in the oven, set for baking to a charred husk.

Yet when each event ends with just a handful of arrests, police admit the invasion was nothing more than myth. The panic whimpers away to seclusion, only to resurrect itself just in time for the next big show.

Detectives from Dallas to Plano, Forth Worth to Irving saw no spikes in sex traffic or signs of the occupiers.

“Everybody else is talking about special operations, the AG comes in talking about special operations, but this is what we do,” says Sergeant Byron Fassett, head of the Dallas PD’s human trafficking unit. “We didn’t have to do a special operation. We do special operations all the time, and this was one of them.”

In other words, it was just another week of playing cat and mouse with the world’s oldest profession.

Arlington, host to the game, unleashed extra manpower and bagged an impressive 59 arrests. But it found scant evidence of erotic hordes. Of the 100,000 supposedly Lone Star-bound hookers, Deputy Chief Jaime Ayala says, only 13 were found by his guys. Their busts largely involved rousting the local talent.

ICE Spokesman Carl Rusnok says there were 105 prostitution arrests metro-wide. But what was billed as a bare-naked onslaught fell rather short. Just to reach three figures, ICE had to include 12 Class C misdemeanors—the legal equivalent of a speeding ticket.

Rusnok hints at more nefarious busts for human trafficking, but he refuses to provide names, charges or anything else that would allow for verification.

The 38,000 teen slaves also proved elusive. Police managed to find just two—and they were Texas-grown.

Anthony Winn, a 35-year-old degenerate from Austin, had been pimping out a 20-year-old woman when he decided to peddle her 14-year-old sister as well.

The trio showed up in Dallas for the big game. But the older sister objected to the selling of the younger one. So when Dallas police encountered them on the street, the women quickly ratted out Winn.

In Grapevine, another local was busted for chauffeuring a 17-year-old hooker on her rounds.

Meanwhile, church groups and activists were out en masse. But if they were truly aligned with God, He preferred they stick to generating headlines and hurling logs on the flames of panic. He apparently neglected to grant them the power of rescue. As far as anyone can tell, not one of their tips led to an arrest. Had anyone bothered to ask police in previous Super Bowl cities, they would have told you this would happen. There’s zero evidence that American hookers have ever traveled like Spanish armadas.

As for widespread sex slavery, this too is a myth. The U.S. government has known it for years.

Like most industrialized countries, the feds began worrying about human trafficking in the late ’90s, a fear born from the slavery problems of the Third World. At the time, evidence from police suggested it was an insidious, though relatively rare, crime. But that didn’t stop politicians and activists from declaring it a pandemic.

Out of thin air, they began to trumpet that 50,000 people were being forcibly trafficked in America each year. The

Clinton administration declared jihad. President George W. Bush dilated the war, creating 42 Justice Department task forces countrywide.

But when you weld a fabricated enemy, meager scalp counts leave boasting a challenge. Just like the soldiers of pre-Super Bowl Dallas, they had braced themselves for imaginary strife.

Six years into his presidency, Bush had burned through $150 million on the fray. But of the 300,000 supposed victims during that time, the Justice Department managed to find just 1,362. Less than half were actual sex slaves. An even smaller number were underage prostitutes.

That’s because human trafficking, as defined by the government, isn’t solely about sex. It’s usually about forced labor. Think of the Chinese man made to work in a kitchen to reimburse a snakehead’s smuggling fee. Or the Mexican kid forced to toil on a Kansas farm.

By the time anyone realized all that money was flowing for naught, no one was brave enough to tighten the spigot. In Washington, it’s far better to waste millions than give the appearance you don’t care about kids.

Steve Wagner knows this. He worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serving as director of the Human Trafficking Program under Bush. He threw millions of dollars at community groups to aid victims. Yet as he told the Washington Post in 2007, “Those funds were wasted….They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”

Ten years into the war, one might assume intellectual honesty would sand down the rhetoric. But the opposite is happening. The fight’s simply moved away from protecting women and children. It’s now a holy war for the sanctity of revenue streams.

The church and women’s groups who profited from battle are loath to acknowledge they spent the past decade doing little more than polishing their guns. So forgive them for worrying.

Recession has made donations harder to field. D.C.’s coming austerity means grants will be macheted. That’s left the nonprofit world in a panic.

It isn’t easy to get donors and congressmen to slap down checks for the time-honored fight against prostitution, runaways and kids seeking the fascinating life of a crack head.

So women’s and children’s groups simply decided to change their PR. Suddenly, prostitution was no longer about prostitution. It was all about sexual slavery and human trafficking. And they began blowing up their numbers with helium.

But maybe Traffick911’s Deena Graves is right. Perhaps God has called her and others to fight demons unseen by the re st of us. It’s just that he hasn’t given them the power to find all those victims. He does work in mysterious ways, after all.

–With Reporting by Patrick Michels

Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution

By Nick Davies – The Guardian News, Tuesday October 20, 
2009

The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.

The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.

While some prosecutions have been made, the Guardian investigation suggests the number of people who have been brought into the UK and forced against their will into prostitution is much smaller than claimed; and that the problem of trafficking is one of a cluster of factors which expose sex workers to coercion and exploitation.

Acting on the distorted information, the government has produced a bill, now moving through its final parliamentary phase, which itself has provoked an outcry from sex workers who complain that, instead of protecting them, it will expose them to extra danger.

When police in July last year announced the results of Operation Pentameter Two, Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, hailed it as “a great success”. Its operational head, Tim Brain, said it had seriously disrupted organised crime networks responsible for human trafficking. “The figures show how successful we have been in achieving our goals,” he said.

Those figures credited Pentameter with “arresting 528 criminals associated with one of the worst crimes threatening our society”.  But an internal police analysis of Pentameter, obtained by the Guardian after a lengthy legal struggle, paints a very different picture.

The analysis, produced by the police Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield and marked “restricted”, suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found in spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as “the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking”.

The analysis reveals that 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all.

Of the 406 real arrests, 153 had been released weeks before the police announced the success of the operation: 106 of them without any charge at all and 47 after being cautioned for minor offences. Most of the remaining 253 were not accused of trafficking: 73 were charged with immigration breaches; 76 were eventually convicted of non-trafficking offences involving drugs, driving or management of a brothel; others died, absconded or disappeared off police records.

Although police described the operation as “the culmination of months of planning and intelligence-gathering from all those stakeholders involved”, the reality was that, during six months of national effort, they found only 96 people to arrest for trafficking, of whom 67 were charged.

Forty-seven of those never made it to court.

Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking, including two women who had originally been “rescued” as supposed victims. Seven of them were acquitted. The end result was that, after raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women.

Police claimed that Pentameter used the international definition of sex trafficking contained in the UN’s Palermo protocol, which involves the use of coercion or deceit to transport an unwilling man or woman into prostitution. But, in reality, Pentameter used a very different definition, from the UK’s 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to transport a man or woman into prostitution even if this involves assisting a willing sex worker.

Internal police documents reveal that 10 of Pentameter’s 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes. These genuinely were traffickers, but none of them was detected by Pentameter, although its investigations are still continuing.

Two of them — Zhen Xu and Fei Zhang — had been in custody since March 2007, a clear seven months before Pentameter started work in October 2007.

The other three,  Ali Arslan, Edward Facuna and Roman Pacan,  were arrested and charged as a result of an operation which began when a female victim went to police in April 2006, well over a year before Pentameter Two began, although the arrests were made while Pentameter was running.

The head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, Grahame Maxwell, who is chief constable of North Yorkshire, acknowledged the importance of the figures: “The facts speak for themselves. I’m not trying to argue with them in any shape or form,” he said.

He said he had commissioned fresh research from regional intelligence units to try to get a clearer picture of the scale of sex trafficking. “What we’re trying to do is to get it gently back to some reality here,” he said.

“It’s not where you go down on every street corner in every street in Britain, and there’s a trafficked individual.

“There are more people trafficked for labour exploitation than there are for sexual exploitation. We need to redress the balance here. People just seem to grab figures from the air.”

Groups who work with trafficked women declined to comment on the figures from the Pentameter Two police operation but said that the problem of trafficking was real.

Ruth Breslin, research and development manager for Eaves which runs the Poppy project for victims of trafficking, said: “I don’t know the ins and outs of the police operation. It is incredibly difficult to establish prevalence because of the undercover and potentially criminal nature of trafficking and also, we feel, because of the fear that many women have in coming forward.”

The internal analysis of Pentameter notes that some records could not be found and Brain, who is chief constable of Gloucestershire, argued that some genuine traffickers may have been charged with non-trafficking offences because of the availability of evidence but he conceded that he could point to no case where this had happened.

He said the Sexual Offences Act was “not user friendly” although he said he could not recall whether he had pointed this out to government since the end of Pentameter Two.

Parliament is in the final stages of passing the policing and crime bill which contains a proposal to clamp down on trafficking by penalising any man who has sex with a woman who is “controlled for gain” even if the man is genuinely ignorant of the control. Although the definition of “controlled” has been tightened, sex workers’ groups complain that the clause will encourage women to prove that they are not being controlled by working alone on the streets or in a flat without a maid, thus making them more vulnerable to attack.

There are also fears that if the new legislation deters a significant proportion of customers, prostitutes will be pressurised to have sex without condoms in order to bring them back.

The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009

In the report above about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as “the police Human Trafficking Centre”. The UKHTC describes itself as “a multi-agency centre” and says that it is “police led”. Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.

Prostitution and trafficking – the anatomy of a moral panic

Nick Davies The Guardian News, Tuesday October 20, 2009

There is something familiar about the tide of misinformation which has swept through the subject of sex trafficking in the UK: it flows through exactly the same channels as the now notorious torrent about Saddam Hussein’s weapons.
In the story of UK sex trafficking, the conclusions of academics who study the sex trade have been subjected to the same treatment as the restrained reports of intelligence analysts who studied Iraqi weapons – stripped of caution, stretched to their most alarming possible meaning and tossed into the public domain. There, they have been picked up by the media who have stretched them even further in stories which have then been treated as reliable sources by politicians, who in turn provided quotes for more misleading stories.

In both cases, the cycle has been driven by political opportunists and interest groups in pursuit of an agenda. In the case of sex trafficking, the role of the neo-conservatives and Iraqi exiles has been played by an unlikely union of evangelical Christians with feminist campaigners, who pursued the trafficking tale to secure their greater goal, not of regime change, but of legal change to abolish all prostitution. The sex trafficking story is a model of misinformation. It began to take shape in the mid 1990s, when the collapse of economies in the old Warsaw Pact countries saw the working flats of London flooded with young women from eastern Europe. Soon, there were rumours and media reports that attached a new word to these women. They had been “trafficked”.

And, from the outset, that word was a problem. On a strict definition, eventually expressed in international law by the 2000 Palermo protocol, sex trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to transport an unwilling victim into sexual exploitation. This image of sex slavery soon provoked real public anxiety.

But a much looser definition, subsequently adopted by the UK’s 2003 Sexual Offences Act, uses the word to describe the movement of all sex workers, including willing professionals who are simply travelling in search of a better income. This wider meaning has injected public debate with confusion and disproportionate anxiety.

Two academics from the University of North London, Liz Kelly and Linda Regan, tried to estimate the number of women who had been trafficked in the UK during the calendar year 1998, an exercise which they honestly described as “problematic”.

First, there was the problem of the word, which Kelly and Regan solved by accepting all variations of its meaning. Then, there was the shortage of facts. They spoke to specialists, studied news reports and surveyed police, who reported that 71 women had been “trafficked”, whether willingly or not, during 1998. In Stopping Traffic, which they published in May 2000, Kelly and Regan argued that the real scale of the problem was probably bigger than this and, in the absence of any accurate data, they made various assumptions which they themselves described as “speculative”.

At the very least, they guessed, there could be another 71 trafficked women who had been missed by police, which would double the total, to 142. At the most, they suggested, the true total might be 20 times higher, at 1,420.

But reaching this figure involved a further quadrupling of the number of victims missed by police, plus quadrupling existing estimates by sex health workers, plus assuming the accuracy of a newspaper report that “hundreds” of women had been trafficked into the UK from Albania and Kosovo, plus assuming that mail-order brides were also victims of trafficking, plus adding women who were transported within the UK as well as those brought into the UK.

Kelly and Regan were transparent and honest about the speculative character of their assumptions. They were clear about their adoption of the widest possible meaning of the term. They presented their conclusion with caution: “It can be estimated that the true scale of trafficking may be between two and 20 times that which has been confirmed.”

And they presented their conclusion as a range of possibilities: “It is recognised that this is a wide range, but it indicates the likely scale of the problem while reflecting the poverty of information in this area.”

During the following years, the subject attracted the attention of religious groups, particularly the Salvation Army and an umbrella group of evangelicals called Churches Alert to Sex Trafficking Across Europe (Chaste). Chaste explicitly campaigned for an end to all prostitution and, quoting their commitment to the principles of the Kingdom of God, they were enlisted as specialist advisers to the police.

Chaste took the work of Kelly and Regan, brought the estimate forward by two years, stripped out all the caution, headed for the maximum end of the range and declared : “An estimated 1,420 women were trafficked into the UK in 2000 for the purposes of constrained prostitution.”

The misleading figure was repeated in news stories and adopted by politicians. Even the government’s Crimestoppers campaign recycled it. And over and over again, the absence of a definition in the original work was replaced with the certainty that this was about women who were forced to work against their will. Chaste spoke repeatedly about “sexual enslavement” and “sex slavery”.

Three years after the Kelly/Regan work was published, in 2003, a second team of researchers was commissioned by the Home Office to tackle the same area. They, too, were forced to make a set of highly speculative assumptions: that every single foreign woman in the “walk-up” flats in Soho had been smuggled into the country and forced to work as a prostitute; that the same was true of 75% of foreign women in other flats around the UK and of 10% of foreign women working for escort agencies. Crunching these percentages into estimates of the number of foreign women in the various forms of sex work, they came up with an estimate of 3,812 women working against their will in the UK sex trade.

Margin of error

The researchers ringed this figure with warnings. The data, they said, was “very poor” and quantifying the subject was “extremely difficult”. Their final estimate was “very approximate”, “subject to a very large margin of error” and “should be treated with great caution” and the figure of 3,812 “should be regarded as an upper bound”.

No chance. In June 2006, before the research had even been published, the then Home Office minister Vernon Coaker ignored the speculative nature of the assumptions behind the figure, stripped out all the caution, headed for the maximum end of the range and then rounded it up, declaring to an inquiry into sex trafficking by the Commons joint committee on human rights: “There are an estimated 4,000 women victims.”

The Christian charity Care announced: “In 2003, the Home Office estimated there were 4,000 women and girls in the UK at any one time that had been trafficked into forced prostitution.” The Salvation Army went further: “The Home Office estimated that in 2003 … there were at least 4,000 trafficked women residing in the UK. This figure is believed to be a massive underestimation of the problem.” Anti-Slavery International joined them, converting what the Home Office researchers had described as a “very approximate” estimate into “a very conservative estimate”.

The Home Office, at least, having commissioned the research, was in a position to remind everybody of its authors’ warnings. Except it didn’t.

In March 2007, it produced the UK Action Plan on Human Trafficking and casually reproduced the figure of 4,000 without any of the researchers’ cautions.

The evidence was left even further behind as politicians took up the issue as a rallying call for feminists. They were led by the Labour MP for Rotherham and former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane, who took to describing London as “Europe’s capital for under-aged trafficked sex slaves”. In a debate in the Commons in November 2007, MacShane announced that “according to Home Office estimates, 25,000 sex slaves currently work in the massage parlours and brothels of Britain.”

There is simply no Home Office source for that figure, although it has been reproduced repeatedly in media stories.

Two months later, in another Commons debate, MacShane used the same figure, but this time he attributed it to the Daily Mirror, which had indeed run a story in October 2005 with the headline “25,000 Sex Slaves on the Streets of Britain.” However, the newspaper had offered no evidence at all to support the figure. On the contrary, the body of its story used a much lower figure, of between 2,000 and 6,000 brought in each year, and attributed this to unnamed Home Office officials, even though the Home Office has never produced any research which could justify it.

MacShane was not deterred.

“I used to work for the Daily Mirror, so I trust the report,” he said.

Sources

The then solicitor general, Vera Baird, replied by warning MacShane that “we think that his numbers from the Daily Mirror are off” and then recycled the figure of 4,000 without any of the researchers’ cautions. MacShane then switched line and started to claim, for example in a letter to the Guardian in September 2008, that there were “18,000 women, often young girls, trafficked into Britain as sex slaves.” He used this same figure in another debate in the House of Commons, adding “We have to get the facts and figures right.”

On this occasion, the source he was quoting was Pentameter Two, the six-month national police operation which failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution. But MacShane had a point: presenting the results of the operation to the press in July 2008, its operational head, Tim Brain, the chief constable of Gloucester, was widely reported to have said that there were now 18,000 victims of trafficking in the UK and that this included under-age girls.

Other senior figures who were involved with this press conference say they were taken completely by surprise by Brain’s claim. “None of us knew where that came from,” according to one senior figure. “It wasn’t in his pre-brief. It wasn’t in anything: ministers weren’t briefed. Tim may have meant to say 1,800 and just got his figures mixed up.”

Brain now agrees that the figure is not correct and suggested to the Guardian that he had been trying to estimate the total number of prostitutes in the UK, not the total number of trafficked women.

But the damage had been done. Patrick Hall, Labour MP for Bedford, solemnly told the House of Commons that there was sex trafficking “in towns and villages throughout the land.”

Fiona Mactaggart, a former Home Office minister, in January 2008 outstripped MacShane’s estimates, telling the House of Commons that she regarded all women prostitutes as the victims of trafficking, since their route into sex work “almost always involves coercion, enforced addiction to drugs and violence from their pimps or traffickers.” There is no known research into UK prostitution which supports this claim.

In November 2008, Mactaggart repeated a version of the same claim when she told BBC Radio 4’s Today in Parliament that “something like 80% of women in prostitution are controlled by their drug dealer, their pimp, or their trafficker.” Again, there is no known source for this.

Challenged to justify this figure by a different Radio 4 programme, More or Less, in January 2009, Mactaggart claimed that it comes from the Home Office’s 2004 report on prostitution, Paying the Price. But there is no sign of the figure in the report.

In the summer of 2004, The Poppy Project, which is committed to ending all prostitution on the grounds that it “helps to construct and maintain gender inequality”, surveyed London prostitutes working in flats and found that 80% of them were foreign, a finding which is well supported. They then added, without any clear evidence, that “a large proportion of them are likely to have been trafficked into the country”, a conclusion which is challenged by specialist police, but which was then recycled through numerous media reports and political claims.

Last year (2008), Poppy published a report called The Big Brothel, which claimed to be the most comprehensive study ever conducted into brothels in the UK and which claimed to have found “indicators of trafficking in every borough of London”.

That report was subsequently condemned in a joint statement from 27 specialist academics who complained that it was “framed by a pre-existing political view of prostitution”. The academics said there were “serious flaws” in the way that data had been collected and analysed; that the reliability of the data was “extremely doubtful”; and that the claims about trafficking “cannot be substantiated.”

Illusion

But by that time, the report had generated a mass of news stories, most of which took the unreliable results and overstated them. Like Chaste, the Poppy Project, which has been paid nearly £6m to shelter trafficked women, has been drafted in to advise police and until recently used office space in the Sheffield headquarters of the UK Human Trafficking Centre.

The cacophony of voices has created the illusion of confirmation.

Politicians and religious groups still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. The Daily Mirror’s baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added : “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.”

Somewhere beneath all this, there is a reality. There have been real traffickers.

Since the Sexual Offences Act came into force in January 2004, internal police documents show that 46 men and women have been convicted and jailed for transporting willing sex workers and 59 people have been convicted for transporting women who were forced to work as prostitutes.

Ruth Breslin, research and development manager for Eaves, which runs the Poppy project, said: “I realise that the 25,000 figure, which is one that has been bandied about in the media, is one that doesn’t really have much of an evidence base and may be slightly subject to media hype. There is an awful lot of confusion in the media and other places between trafficking (unwilling victims) and smuggling (willing passengers). People do get confused and they are two very different things.”

She said that in the six and a half years since Poppy was founded, a total of 1,387 men and women had been referred to them, of whom they had taken in just over 500 women who they believed had been trafficked into sexual exploitation or domestic servitude by the use of coercion, deception or force. “I do think that there a lot more trafficked women out there than the women we see in our project. I do think there are significant numbers. I would say the figure is in the thousands. I don’t know about the tens of thousands. That’s probably going too far.”

Certainly there have been real victims, some of whom have been compensated as victims of crime. The internal analysis of Pentameter Two, obtained by the Guardian, reveals that after six months of raids across the UK, 11 women were finally “made safe”. This clashes with early police claims that Pentameter had rescued 351 victims. By the time that Brain held his press conference in July last year, that figure had been reduced to 167 victims who were said to have been “saved from lives of abuse, exploitation and misery”.

However, the internal analysis shows that supposed victims variously absconded from police, went home voluntarily, declined support, were removed by the UK Borders Agency or were prosecuted for various offences.

Dealing with this, the document explains: “The number of ‘potential victims’ has been refined as more informed decisions have been made about whether or not the individual is believed to be a victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation … Initial considerations were made on limited information … When interviewed, the potential victim may make it clear that they are not in fact a victim of trafficking and/or inquiries may make it clear that they are not and/or inquiries may show that initial consideration was based on false or incomplete information.”

Research published recently by Dr Nick Mai of London Metropolitan University, concludes that, contrary to public perception, the majority of migrant sex workers have chosen prostitution as a source of “dignified living conditions and to increase their opportunities for a better future while dramatically improving the living conditions of their families in the country of origin”. After detailed interviews with 100 migrant sex workers in the UK, Mai found: “For the majority, working in the sex industry was a way to avoid the exploitative working conditions they had met in their previous non-sexual jobs.”

The UK Network of Sex Work Projects, whose outreach workers deal with thousands of prostitutes, told the home affairs select committee last year: “It is undoubtedly the case that women are trafficked into the sex industry. However, the proportion of sex workers of whom this is true is relatively small, both compared to the sex industry as a whole and to other industries.” The chairman of that committee, Keith Vaz, observed: “We are told that this is the second largest problem facing the globe after drugs and we do not seem to be able to find the people responsible.”

For the police, the misinformation has succeeded in diverting resources away from other victims. Specialist officers who deal with trafficking have told the Guardian that although they will continue to monitor all forms of trafficking, they are now shifting their priority away from the supposed thousands of sex slaves towards the movement within the UK of children who are being sexually abused. They say they are also dealing with more cases where illegal migrant workers of all kinds, including willing sex workers, find themselves being ripped off and overcharged for their transport.

Unheard

However, the key point is that on the sidelines of a debate which has been dominated by ideology, a chorus of alarm from the prostitutes themselves is singing out virtually unheard. In the cause of protecting “thousands” of victims of trafficking, Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader and minister for women and equality, has led the parliamentary campaign for a law to penalise men who pay for sex with women who are “controlled for gain” even if the men do so in genuine ignorance.

Repeatedly, prostitutes groups have argued that the proposal is as wrong as the trafficking estimates on which it is based, and that it will aggravate every form of jeopardy which they face in their work, whether by encouraging them to work alone in an attempt to show that they are free of control or by pressurising them to have sex without condoms to hold on to worried customers. Thus far, their voices remain largely ignored by news media and politicians who, once more, have been swept away on a tide of misinformation.

• This article was amended on Thursday 19 November 2009. We said that the Poppy Project had an office in the Sheffield headquarters of the UK Human Trafficking Centre. That is no longer the case. This has been corrected.

Women’s Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science. Schapiro Group data wasn’t questioned by mainstream media

By Nick Pinto of Village Voice Media

published: March 23, 2011

ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CRAIGSLIST told Congress on September 15 that the ubiquitous Web classifieds site was closing its adult section. Under intense scrutiny from the government and crusading advocacy groups, as well as state attorneys general, owner Craig Newmark memorably applied the label “Censored” in his classifieds where adult advertising once appeared.

During the same September hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary, members of Congress listened to vivid and chilling accounts regarding underage prostitution.

The congressmen heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women’s Funding Network. She told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.

“An independent tracking study released today by the Women’s Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states,” Richardson claimed. “Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase.”

In the wake of this bombshell revelation, Richardson’s disturbing figures found their way into some of the biggest newspapers in the country. USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Detroit Free Press all repeated the dire statistics as gospel.

The successful assault on Craigslist was followed by a cross-country tour by Richardson and the Women’s Funding Network.

None of the media that published Richardson’s astonishing numbers bothered to examine the study at the heart of her claim. If they had, they would have found what we did after asking independent experts to examine the research: It’s junk science.

After all, the numbers are all guesses.

The data are based merely on looking at photos on the Internet. There is no science.

Eric Grodsky, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who teaches about proper research construction, says that the study is fundamentally flawed.

“The method’s not clean,” Grodsky says. “You couldn’t get this kind of thing into a peer-reviewed journal. There are just too many unanswered questions about their methodology.”

Ric Curtis, the chairman of the Anthropology Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, led a Justice Department-funded study on juvenile prostitution in New York City in 2008. He’s highly skeptical of the claims in the Women’s Funding Network’s study.

“I wouldn’t trust those numbers,” Curtis says. “This new study seems pretty bogus.”

In fact, the group behind the study admits as much. It’s now clear they used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding.

“We pitch it the way we think you’re going to read it and pick up on it,” says Kaffie McCullough, the director of Atlanta-based anti-prostitution group A Future Not a Past. “If we give it to you with all the words and the stuff that is actually accurate—I mean, I’ve tried to do that with our PR firm, and they say, ‘They won’t read that much.'”

A Future Not a Past is a product of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, the Juvenile Justice Fund, and Harold and Kayrita Anderson’s foundation. To measure the amount of juvenile prostitution in the state, the consortium hired the Schapiro Group, an Atlanta business-consulting operation.

The Schapiro Group members weren’t academic researchers, and had no prior experience studying prostitution. In fact, the group was best known for research paid for by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The study found—surprise—that membership in the Chamber of Commerce improves a business’s image.

The consultants came up with a novel, if not very scientific, method for tabulating juvenile prostitutes: They counted pictures of young-looking women on online classified sites.

“That’s one of the first problems right there,” Grodsky says. “These advertisers are in the business of making sales, and there’s a market for young-looking women. Why would you trust that the photographs are accurate?”

In other words, the ads, like the covers of women’s magazines, are relentlessly promoting fantasy. Anyone who has tried online dating understands the inherent trouble with trusting photographs.

Even if the person placing the advertisement is the one in the picture, there’s no telling how old the photo is, says David Finkelhor, the director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

“How do you know when the pictures were taken?” Finkelhor asks. “It’s not illegal for an 18-year-old who’s selling sex to put up a picture of herself from when she was 16.”

And if, for the sake of argument, the photos were an accurate portrayal, how do you train those viewing the photographs to guess the correct age?

In fact, you don’t.

Before conducting its full study, the Schapiro Group tested the accuracy of its method in a sample of 100 observers. At one point, the 100 observers are described as a “random sample.” Elsewhere, they are described as “balanced by race and gender.”

These 100 adults were shown pictures of teenagers and young adults whose ages were known, and were asked to guess whether they were younger than 18.

“The study showed that any given ‘young’ looking girl who is selling sex has a 38 percent likelihood of being under age 18,” reads a crucial passage in the explanation of methodology. “Put another way, for every 100 ‘young’ looking girls selling sex, 38 are under 18 years of age. We would compute this by assigning a value of .38 to each of the 100 ‘young’ girls we encounter, then summing the values together to achieve a reliable count.”

This is dense gibberish posing as statistical analysis.

When the team went on to conduct its full statewide study, it simply treated this 38 percent success rate as a constant. Six new observers were then turned loose to count “young-looking” sex ads on online classifieds sites like Craigslist and Backpage.

That total count was then multiplied by .38 to come up with a guesstimate of how many children were being trafficked.

“This is a logical fallacy,” says Steve Doig, the Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University, who reviewed the study at our request. “Consider this analogy: Imagine that 100 people were shown pictures of various automobiles and asked to identify the make, and that 38 percent of the time people misidentified Fords as Chevrolets. Using the Schapiro logic, this would mean that 38 percent of Fords on the street actually are Chevys.”

But the Georgia sponsors were happy with the results—after all, the scary-sounding study agreed with what they were saying all along. So the Women’s Funding Network paid Schapiro to dramatically expand the study to include Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. (Georgia’s Kayrita Anderson sits on the board of the Women’s Funding Network)

The Women’s Funding Network says it would ultimately like to have the study running in all 50 states.

The count of online classifieds featuring “young women” is repeated every three months to track how the numbers change over time. That’s the source of the claim of a 64 percent increase in child prostitution in Minnesota in a matter of months.

But that’s not how a scientific study is supposed to work, says Finkelhor.

“They don’t tell you what the confidence intervals are, so these changes could just be noise,” he says. “When the Minnesota count goes from 102 to 112, that’s probably just random fluctuations.”

There’s a more fundamental issue, of course.

“The trend analysis is simply a function of the number of images on these sites,” Finkelhor says. “It’s not necessarily an indication that there’s an increase in the number of juveniles involved.”

Despite these flaws, the Women’s Funding Network, which held rallies across the nation, has been flogging the results relentlessly through national press releases and local member organizations. In press releases, the group goes so far as to compare its conjured-up data to actual hard numbers for other social ills.

“Monthly domestic sex trafficking in Minnesota is more pervasive than the state’s annually reported incidents of teen girls who died by suicide, homicide, and car accidents (29 instances combined); infants who died from SIDS (6 instances); or women of all ages murdered in one year (37 instances),” reads the study.

Of course, those other figures are rigorously compiled medical and law-enforcement records of actual documented incidents, so it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

The police who tally many of those actual statistics—as well as records of real face-to-face encounters with juvenile prostitutes—don’t seem to be very impressed by the statistics put forward by the Women’s Funding Network.

“The methodology that they used doesn’t really show the numbers that back it up,” says Sgt. John Bandemer, who heads the Vick Human Trafficking Task Force in St. Paul. “We take it with a grain of salt.”

The experts we consulted all agreed the Schapiro Group’s published methodology raises more questions than it answers. So we went to the Schapiro Group to ask them.

Beth Schapiro founded the Schapiro Group in 1984, starting out mostly with political consulting. The bulk of the group’s work, Schapiro says, consists of public opinion research. In 2007, the group installed its own phone-banking center, and the group’s website advertises services ranging from customer satisfaction surveys to “voter persuasion calls.”

Counting hard-to-find exploitation victims wasn’t exactly in the company’s repertoire when it was asked by A Future Not a Past to devise a study on juvenile prostitution in 2007, but Schapiro jumped at the opportunity.

The Georgia studies included efforts to count juvenile prostitutes on the street, at hotels, and in escort services, but they also marked the debut of the problematic online classifieds study that would later be reproduced in other states.

In a phone call this month, Schapiro insisted that her study was the first effort ever to try to scientifically determine the number of juvenile prostitutes—a claim that would likely surprise the authors of dozens of previous studies, several of which are footnoted in her own report.

When we asked Schapiro and Rusty Parker, the leader of the classifieds study, to fill in some of the missing pieces in their methodology, they had a hard time coming up with straight answers. In fact, Parker couldn’t remember key information about how he constructed the study. When asked where he got the sample pictures used to calibrate the all-important 38 percent error rate, he wasn’t sure.

“It was a while back,” he says. “I forget exactly where we got them from.”

Parker was equally fuzzy on how the researchers knew the ages of the people pictured in the control group.

“Um…I’m afraid I do not remember,” he says.

You might say that this is important information. The Schapiro group has been telling the world that it cracked the alchemical code that transforms dumb guesses into hard statistics, and that the magic number is .38. But the leader of the study can’t remember the procedure he followed to get that number.

Neither Schapiro nor Parker had any answers when asked if there was any empirical reason to believe their two critical assumptions: that online photos always represent what the prostitutes actually look like, and that the six handpicked observers conducting the state studies have exactly the same error rate as the initial test batch of 100 random citizens.

Instead, Schapiro beat a hasty retreat, saying the study results shouldn’t be read as actual incidents of prostitution.

“We’re the first to tell you, this is not a precise count of the number of girls being prostituted,” Schapiro said. “We make no bones about that.”

Of course, a precise count of the number of girls being prostituted is exactly what the statistics are being presented as in the media, in press releases, and in Schapiro’s own study. When this is pointed out, Schapiro reverses herself.

“Well, yes, these are specific numbers,” Schapiro backpedals. “And yes, they are hard numbers, and they are numbers that we stand completely behind.”

This is the kind of cognitive whiplash you have to endure if you try to follow Schapiro down the rabbit hole. The numbers have the weight of fact and can properly be cited as actual incidents of juvenile prostitution, she insists. But when pressed to justify the broad and unsupported assumptions of her study, she says the study is just a work in progress and the numbers are only approximations.

Schapiro’s grasp on empirical rigor is such that when asked point-blank to choose between her two contradictory interpretations—estimates or facts—she opts for “all of the above.”

“I would square the circle by saying that you can look at them both ways,” she says.

Any reporter who had read the methodology of the Schapiro report would have been left with doubts, and any reporter who followed up would probably have been treated to the same baffling circuit of non-answers. The fact that the study’s findings continue to be rebroadcast in news outlets across the country suggests that not one reporter has bothered to read the study about which they are writing.

“You see this kind of thing a lot, unfortunately,” says Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute who writes frequently about statistics. “The kind of skepticism that reporters apply to a statement by a politician just doesn’t get applied to studies.”

David Finkelhor at the Crimes Against Children Research Center says he understands the pressure on reporters to cite figures when they’re writing about juvenile prostitution, but it’s something they need to resist, because despite what groups like the Women’s Funding Network would have you believe, there simply are no good statistics.

“You have to say, ‘We don’t know. Estimates have been made, but none of them have a real scientific basis to them,'” Finkelhor says. “All you can say is, ‘This is the number the police know about, and we think there are more than that, but we don’t know how many more.'”

In her own online photos, the woman who commissioned the Schapiro Group study looks to be in her 50s, with blue eyes, graying hair, and a taste for dangly earrings.

Kaffie McCullough first approached the Schapiro Group about conducting a study of juvenile prostitution in Georgia in 2007 when, as director of A Future Not a Past, she realized that having scientific-sounding numbers makes all the difference in the world.

In early 2007, McCullough approached the Georgia Legislature to ask for money for a regional assessment center to track juvenile prostitution.

“We had no research, no nothing. The legislators didn’t even know about it,” she recalls. “We got a little bit. We got about 20 percent of what we asked for.”

Later that year, the first Schapiro Group counts were made, and when McCullough returned to the Legislature the following session, she had the study’s statistics in hand.

“When we went to the Legislature with those counts, it gave us traction—night and day,” she says. “That year, we got all the rest of that money, plus we got a study commission.”

McCullough touts the fundraising benefits of the study whenever she can. Since the Schapiro study was picked up for replication nationwide by the Women’s Funding Network, McCullough has acted as a sort of technical consultant for state groups as they debate whether to invest money in the project. Whenever she’s asked, McCullough tells the local groups that the money they spend will come back to them with hefty dividends.

“I would say, ‘The research costs money, but we’ve been able to broker—I don’t know what it is now, I think it’s over $1.3, $1.6 million in funding that we never would have gotten,'” McCullough says.

McCullough initially maintained that she stands by the Schapiro Group study, in part because she has been told that “it is the same scientific methodology that science has been using for a long time to measure endangered species.”

But when pressed on whether she really believes that counting Internet photos is reliable, she grants the sex-work industry isn’t exactly the gold standard of truth in advertising.

“That’s absolutely correct,” she says. “That’s part of how that business operates: It’s a bait-and-switch.”

And given the tricky nature of the photographs, she admits that counting pictures isn’t exactly a precise way to measure juvenile prostitutes.

“I can’t guarantee that any picture that four of those six people said looked young—that may not be the girl that you’d get if you called up,” she concedes.

Asked if she has any reason to believe that the six observers in the study have the identical 38 percent error rate as the 100 random citizens who were the initial test subjects, she allows that it might be worth revisiting that question.

The basic truth is that the study exists in service of the advocacy, and if news outlets present the Schapiro Group’s numbers as gospel, it certainly doesn’t hurt the advocates’ cause.

Admitting that there isn’t any authoritative scientific count of juvenile prostitution, as Finkelhor recommends, isn’t an option in McCullough’s book. She recalls an early presentation she made in Nebraska, when a politician gave her a piece of advice that stuck.

“He said, ‘If you all as a movement don’t start having numbers, you are going to lose the money,'” McCullough recalls. “‘How can you justify millions of dollars when there are only hundreds of victims that you’re actually serving?'”

Last week, on March 16, the drumbeat continued in the U.S. Senate with a briefing on domestic minor sex trafficking that featured Hollywood actress Mira Sorvino and the startling statistic that 100,000 children are trafficked for sex annually in America.

Trafficking, in labor and sex, became a defining issue in the administration of President George W. Bush. But as an investigation by the Washington Post in 2007 revealed, victims in the sex trade were difficult to come by.

Today, advocates have shifted media attention to allegations of trafficking in children.

But facts to suggest a plague of underage perversion simply do not exist despite claims to the contrary.

In a deficit-obsessed Congress, there is a long line of those seeking tax dollars to raise awareness of trafficking: government agencies, nonprofits, religious groups, the well-intentioned, as well as abolitionists opposed to everything from pornography to adult services.

It is no surprise that some seek to use children as a wedge.

Responsible parties prosecute predators and rescue victims. Not everyone with a microphone is responsible.

The challenge of keeping children out of the hands of exploiters is real but solutions are not clear in an atmosphere of hyped hysteria.

The following article is written by Menstuff.org
http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/sexslaves.html

“Tonight our cameras take you into a dark world you’ve never seen,” intoned John Quinones darkly on last week’s edition of ABC Primetime. “American girls being snatched right off Main Street USA. And they could be your very own daughters.” Shocking! The program went on to tell about two Arizona teens ñ both white and girl-next-door cute, who purportedly were minding their own business before being snatched from home and coerced into prostitution. Or “trafficking,” as Primetime put it. That was the show’s point: We already know that impoverished immigrants from the Eastern Europe and Mexico are enslaved here, but now we’ve got a new problem, the trafficking of our own, middle-class girls. Shocking! The show was full of dire warnings by government officials. Not surprising, since the Bush Administration’s mission to find foreign “sex trafficking” victims has gone belly up since it began in 2001. Almost no victims have been located, but the feds want to keep their law and rhetoric afloat and broaden it to other areas, including the culture wars. For ballast, they’re trolling for a domestic demographic, warning that kids and prostitution is a new “trafficking” problem.

But the claim is specious. To make it, you have to play with language and omit facts ñ or bend them so far that they break. That’s what Primetime did, Thursday, February 9, with two teens, one pseudonymed “Debbie,” and the other called by her real name, Miya.

Miya, according to ABC, was working in an Arizona mall when she was approached by a couple who asked if she’d like to come with them to California and be a model. She agreed, and before she knew it, she was being forcibly pimped through an Internet escort service and terrorized into sex slavery. One morning she managed to escape from the seedy hotel she was imprisoned in. Authorities were notified. Now one of her captors is in jail awaiting trial.

That’s the Primetime version, but the “sex slave” part is a hoax. Police in Mesa, Arizona and Union City, California, say that Miya — who was 19 and thus legally an adult — willingly went to California and willingly had sex, both with the couple she was with and with others. Said Tom Haselton, investigating sergeant for the case in Union City, “I can understand the family might be embarrassed and want to tell a different story. But by the time we were done talking with [Miya] we determined that what she did was consensual. There was no force used on her and she had plenty of opportunities to leave. And when she did leave, who did she call? Not the police, but a friend, just saying she wanted to get home to Arizona.” No charges regarding Miya were filed. The man she’d been with was charged because the female member of the couple was 16 — underage. Creepy, exploitative and illegal, but she wasn’t coerced either. “She seemed to be in love with the pimp,” says Haselton. “It’s an age-old story.”

Primetime’s other example of a “sex trafficked” teen, 15-year-old Debbie, is the alleged victim of some truly horrible assaults, and police don’t contest this. Even so, Primetime left out details of the case, making it seem more novel than it is. Debbie has said she was held at gunpoint in a Phoenix apartment and threatened with death and harm to her family unless she had sex with dozens of men. Often she was stuffed by her captors into a dog carrier and a bed frame. Her ordeal lasted over six weeks until she managed to sneak a call to her mother. Then she was rescued, and returned to what Primetime called her “close-knit” family. She’d been separated from them in the first place, Primetime reported, when she was “snatched” ñ as host John Quinones put it — right off her front lawn. That happened when a girl she knew only casually drove up to Debbie’s suburban house. Debbie stepped out of the house wearing Sponge-Bob pajamas. Suddenly she was pushed into the car and kidnapped.

But Phoenix Police Department press releases describe Debbie as a runaway. Police spokesman Andy Hill told me earlier this week that she was having problems with her family. She left home willingly with a friend, the girlfriend of a pimp, and a few hours later was herself dragooned into prostitution. Debbie’s is a story of gross coercion, but clearly there’s some background here. The vast majority of US kids who get involved with prostitution are runaways; this has been so for a very long time. That fact makes for yet another stale story. So it was left out of Primetime’s because it didn’t fit the boogie-man theme pushed these days when sex trafficking gets discussed — in the media and lately by the feds as well.

In that telling, little children are enslaved right in plain sight. Four-year olds are passed to pedophiles at Disneyland, 11-year-olds in communion dresses are sold to Mexican farmworker perverts. Despite ample evidence that these stories are urban myths, the New York Times Magazine cited them anyway and conjured dozens of child sex slaves in a piece by Peter Landesman that the magazine ran two years ago. Its title? “The Girls Next Door.” And last fall, the Lifetime television network ran a much- publicized drama in which a prepubescent white girl is kidnapped off the streets by a hi-tech trafficking ring that operates all across the globe and plans to sell her to “the Saudis.” This despite the fact that no such rings are known to exist.

Paranoid “white slavery” crusades date back to 19th-century England and America. Back then they promoted anti-immigrant and racist sentiments against Jews and others scapegoated for being kidnappers and panderers. They drove prostitutes who had heretofore worked independently into the hands of pimps. Meanwhile, they did virtually nothing to end prostitution.

Now, white-slave panic is being reincarnated by the federal government. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was launched five years ago with much fanfare from evangelicals in the Bush administration, feminists (many of who earlier worked with conservatives to try to outlaw pornography), and liberals concerned about forced-labor trafficking in general. Proponents predicted that thousands of forcibly sex-trafficked immigrant women would be found. Instead, a couple of hundred have turned up, at most.

But there are plenty of U.S.citizens who spend a little or a lot of time in prostitution. Quite a few are minors — as many as 300,000, estimates the new TVPA, which was enthusiastically rolled out by President Bush at a ceremony in January. Legally speaking, minors are always considered victims, even if they are not coerced. The new TVPA earmarks funds to label them as sex slaves.

No matter that most of these new “trafficking” victims are runaways and throwaways: often minorities, often poor, and often gay. No matter that they are seldom kidnapped or forced into prostitution, rarely fit the image of the girl next door, usually don’t think of themselves as “trafficking victims,” and typically distrust the police. No matter that we lack social services for them so they can live on their own and thrive if home is unbearable. These children are just an old story. They’re not ready for prime time.

But they are ready to fuel a movement most of the public hasn’t heard of yet. The domestic trafficking language of the TVPA was lifted from another piece of legislation, the “End Demand Act.” That bill aims to crack down on all prostitution in the U.S., by defining every bit of it as “domestic sex trafficking,” even when it’s between consenting adults. End Demand is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX (who recently equated gay marriage with humans copulating with box turtles). The act has bipartisan support but has not yet been passed. End Demand’s wording about minors, however, was imported into the latest TVPA.

The government has not yet turned consensual adult prostitution into a federal crime. But last summer, the feds and other organizations, many of who have supported the End Demand Act and the new TVPA, started working the zeitgeist by pitching to the media about American kiddie slaves on Main Street. Primetime responded. Defending last week’s story, ABC spokeswoman Paige Capossela said that “Our producers found two cases that illustrate what the FBI, other law enforcement and child protection agencies described to us as trafficking.” That’s a nice excuse for some high yellow journalism. And, no doubt, for some high Nielsen ratings as well.

Conclusion:

The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today.  It is amazing how people will believe such lies so easily.   The media is to blame for this.  I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations.   If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it.  You will be very surprised.

Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the “millions” of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.

These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies.

This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations.  As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

If you agree that you would like to see  news organizations do a full truthful report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves without taking the Anti-Prostitution groups word for it;

Here are some links to help you out:

To email News media publications here is some email addresses to get you all started. (Media companies link below)

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111

To contact USA senators and congressmen to alert them on the lies being told to them about Sex Trafficking and Slavery:

USA government officals link:

http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm

http://www.consumer-action.org/take_action/articles/make_your_voice_heard

(Don’t forget to tell your local government officals as well)

On Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-about-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/135619653172829?sk=wall

Feel free to use any information in this website to tell people about “The Facts of Sex Trafficking and Sex Slavery”

The following links will give you more information about sex trafficking especially the Washington post article and the Guardian and BBC links.

Washington post article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html

News night BBC video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtaEdI3aiwg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rvA60zdkD8

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

Guardian newspaper:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated

Nick Davies – About Truth in the Media:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8YGmASiZZ8&feature=related

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/22/gov_proposals/print.html

Sex trafficking in sports:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/local/20110302-top-fbi-agent-in-dallas-praises-super-bowl-security-effort-sees-no-evidence-of-expected-spike-in-child-sex-trafficking.ece

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-01-27/news/the-super-bowl-prostitute-myth-100-000-hookers-won-t-be-showing-up-in-dallas/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/super-bowl-prostitution-100-000-hookers-didn-t-show-but-america-s-latest-political-scam-did/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/sex-traffick911-press-release/

Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:

http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/super-bowl/Super-Bowl-prostitution-prediction-has-no-proof–114983179.html

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8324/

www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843

http://www.lauraagustin.com/debunking-the-40-000-prostitutes-story-again-south-africa-world-cup

Human traffic website:

http://traffickingwatch.org/node/18

http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0826/final.pdf

India newspaper:

http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3622&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=9&valid=true#

Sex Trafficking in Asia:

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843/

Other Links:

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/
http://bit.ly/fXgwSD

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227418/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-The-myth-Britains-foreign-sex-slaves.html

http://www.bayswan.org/traffick/Weitzer_Criminologist.pdf

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2850/

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/reviewofbooks_article/5027/

http://www.misandryreview.com/heretical-sex/2010/04/04/more-sex-trafficking-lies/

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/07/09/prostitute.gallery/index.html?iref=allsearch&fbid=0Ox1WH9NNpl

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8324/

http://bristolnoborders.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/more-evidence-that-sex-trafficking-is-a-myth/

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/michael-duffy/much-ado-about-a-small-segment-of-the-global-sex-industry/2008/06/13/1213321616701.html

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227418/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-The-myth-Britains-foreign-sex-slaves.html

http://www.angryharry.com/reHappyhookersofEasternEurope.htm

http://www.thescavenger.net/people/numbers-of-sex-trafficking-victims-are-exaggerated-13456.html

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

http://www.thoughts.com/west999

http://open.salon.com/blog/westly99/2011/03/13/the_myth_of_sex_trafficking_and_sex_slavery

http://mythofsextrafficking.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-about-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/135619653172829?sk=wall

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://westernman952.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/09/6223238-the-myth-of-sex-trafficking-and-sex-slavery

http://westernman952.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/16/6283889-the-myths-lies-and-truth-about-sex-trafficking-sex-slavery

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/sex-slavery-lies-and-myths/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/5/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-and-slavery/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-lies-and-prostitution/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

Laura Maria Agustin, book “Sex at the margins”

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Margins-Migration-Markets-Industry/dp/1842778609

Detailed Report and research about sex Trafficking, Sex Slavery, Prostitution:
by Ronald Weitzer
http://myweb.dal.ca/mgoodyea/Documents/Sex%20work%20-%20General/The%20mythology%20of%20prostitution%20-%20advocacy%20research%20and%20public%20policy%20Weitzer%202010%20Sex%20Res%20Soc%20Pol%207%2015-29.pdf

Ronald Weitzer:
http://www.bayswan.org/traffick/Weitzer_Criminologist.pdf

Nathalie Rothschild spiked magazine:

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

Washington post article:

Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence

“U.S.Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short”

By Jerry Markon

WashingtonPost Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html

Minnesota City Pages News in the March 23, 2011 issue have a story about the controversial statistics used to calculate sex trafficking and Sex Slavery victims:

By Nick Pinto – Minnesota city pages

http://www.citypages.com/2011-03-23/news/women-s-funding-network-sex-trafficking-study-is-junk-science/

 The Village Voice newspaper in New York has a section on the Sex trafficking controversy:

 http://www.villagevoice.com/sex-trafficking/

In October 20, 2009

Nick Davis of the London Guardian newspaper writes about a large British Sex Trafficking, Sex Slavery investigation that failed to find a single victim.

 Guardian newspaper:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated

  Angry Harry:

http://www.angryharry.com/es-Where-Are-All-The-Sex-Slaves.htm

http://www.angryharry.com/reHappyhookersofEasternEurope.htm

http://sextraffickingfacts.wordpress.com/

http://sextraffickingvictims.blog.com/

http://sextrafficking.myblogsite.com/entry1.html#body

http://sextraffickingfactsmyths.wordpress.com/

http://mythofsextrafficking.blogspot.com/

http://humantraffickingintheusa.weebly.com/

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Myth-of-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/191343900903887?sk=wall

http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/sex_trafficking_myth_at_super_bowl_world_cup_olympics/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-06-29/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-sex-trafficking-ashton-kutcher-demi-moore/

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-07-06/news/stuck-in-trafficking/

http://www.villagevoice.com/sex-trafficking/map/

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/prostitution/Juvenile_Prostitution_factsheet.pdf

THE ABUSE OF ARBITRARY ENFORCEMENT OF PROSTITUTION, SEX TRAFFICKING, LAWS, ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 THE ABUSE AND CONSEQUENCES OF ARBITRARY ENFORCEMENT OF PROSTITUTION LAWS

The Consequences of Arbitrary and Selective Enforcement
of Prostitution Laws
Norma Jean Almodovar
Sex Worker Rights Activist,
Founder and President- ISWFACE
(International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture and Education)
Executive Director, COYOTE Southern California
author “Cop to Call Girl” (Simon and Schuster, 1994)
“Police, Prostitution and Politics- Commercial $ex $candals in America” (unpublished)
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 2
Overview
This paper examines the serious and hopefully unintended consequences of arbitrary and selective
enforcement of laws prohibiting prostitution, where police agents are given opportunities to be
intimate with suspected prostitutes and are allowed to pick and choose which ‘victims’ they will
arrest.
In policing criminal activity, law enforcement agents generally do not have to decide which
bank robber, rapist, car thief, kidnapper, pedophile or murderer to search for and apprehend. A
victim or a victim’s family files a report and the police launch an investigation. While they may
not catch every suspect, the case remains open until it is solved. The goal of the justice system is
to arrest, prosecute and punish every individual who commits such crimes.
Such is not the case when policing victimless crime- that is ‘crimes’ which are perpetrated
by the ‘victim.’ Because the ‘victims’ (or prostitutes) are not likely to contact law enforcement
and file a complaint against themselves, the police become the complainant. Because there are so
many ‘victims’ and their clients who are also ‘criminals,’ there are simply not enough financial
resources available to any law enforcement agency anywhere to apprehend every suspected
prostitute and every client. Therefore the laws must be arbitrarily enforced. This paper examines
what happens when laws can be enforced selectively; the damage done to society as a whole, in
the corruption of the judicial system, as well as the damage to the prostitutes/victims and even to
the law enforcement officers who arrest them.
Keywords: prostitution, police corruption, arbitrary law enforcement
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 3
The Consequences of Arbitrary and Selective Enforcement of Prostitution Laws
As long as prostitution has existed, there have been government and religious crusades to
eliminate it, and when those crusades were not successful, the focus turned to controlling those
who practiced it. Throughout the history of the attempted abolition of prostitution, many reasons
have been given for the need to do so, ranging from lofty moral arguments that sex outside of
marriage is a sin to the more recent pedantic declarations that all prostitution demeans or degrades
all women. In the late 20th century, a hybrid claim that gave a nod to both the moral and
sententious arguments came into vogue again, attempting to convince politicians and the public
that prostitution was not only an evil enterprise, but the prostitutes themselves were actually
victims of modern day slavery.
Anti-porn/prostitution feminists and their religious conservative accomplices allege that all
prostitutes are coerced one way or another into prostitution and are emotionally if not physically
harmed by their pimps and/or clients. Accordingly, the only way to eliminate the harm is to
rescue the prostitute through the continued prohibition against commercial sex and even more
stringent penalties for those who break the law. The anti- prostitution folks claim they want to
punish the clients but remove the criminality of being a prostitute. Meanwhile, it is the prostitute
who is ‘rescued/arrested’ by the cops and the occasional client snagged in periodic sting
operations. For example, on April 3, 2010, Modesto, CA cops1 had nothing to do so they decided
to bust the prostitutes who worked out of the California Inn. But rather than take the time to make
a proper arrest, the cops used a law that allows them to arrest prostitutes on the suspicion of
intending to commit prostitution. They arrested 7 women, but the men were not cited or arrested
and were encouraged to "go home and not come back."
As I will show, being rescued is far more detrimental to prostitutes than any imagined
affliction that results from taking money for an act of sex. There are abundant counter arguments
to the prevailing specious exploitation hypotheses, but in this context, it is irrelevant whether all
prostitutes are victims or whether prostitution is degrading, nor does it matter where or how the
prostitute works or how much the prostitute earns or whether they consent to engage in
commercial sex. What matters is the serious harm to prostitutes, cops and society that is a direct
consequence of the arbitrariness inherent in the laws and the human nature of those who enforce
them. While agents of the government are expected to apply the laws in a constitutional, equitable
manner; laws which can be selectively enforced tempt even the most trustworthy officers to fudge
reports and make dubious arrests.
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 4
I witnessed this first hand. I should mention that in 1972 at the age of 21, I was employed by
the Los Angeles Police Department as a civilian traffic officer in the years before women were hired
as sworn police officers. I was primarily assigned to the night watch, driving a patrol car without a gun
and usually without a partner. I spent the next decade watching with dismay the way my sworn
colleagues went about selectively enforcing many laws, but in particular, those related to prostitution
and pornography. Pornography was legalized by a court decision in the early 1980s which left
prostitutes out in the cold. I knew from the time that two of my LAPD colleagues offered me $200 to
be the going away present for a retiring captain there something was very wrong with laws which
could be so arbitrarily enforced. After ten years of looking the other way, I could no longer justify
remaining silent, and after a series of on-duty traffic accidents, I decided that I would rather be an
honest whore than to continue working for the LAPD. My outspoken criticism of police corruption led
to a sting operation, the confiscation of my unfinished manuscript, and I ended up a convicted felon
serving time at the California Institute for Women. My case is chronicled in my autobiography, “Cop
to Call Girl” (1993, Simon and Schuster) and in television interviews such as “60 Minutes” and
“American Justice.” I have been a sex worker rights activist since I left the LAPD in 1982 and, due to
my notoriety, after prison I had to forgo earning a living as a prostitute in order to focus on my
activism in the sex worker rights movement.
The purpose of police agencies is to protect the life and property of the citizens of the
communities they serve from those who use force, the threat of force, fraud or coercion against
others. Laws which prohibit one individual or group of individuals from violating the rights of
others are justifiable and proper. Victims of a crime, known as ‘complainants,’call the police and
file a report. An investigation is launched and if the investigation shows that a crime was indeed
committed and a perpetrator is found, the police make an arrest and then it is up to the prosecutor
to persuade a judge and/or jury of the suspect’s guilt. If convicted, the perpetrator is punished in
whatever manner is prescribed for the offense.
If this had been the extent of law enforcement’s role in the community when I joined the
LAPD, there is no question that the pervasive corruption would not prevail as it does in nearly
every city in the country. Of course there would still be some corruption, as it is a sad fact of life
that humans can be and are corrupted by money, position and power. The temptations for law
enforcement agents exist for any number of illegal human activities, from robbery to murder.2
John Marzulli of the NY Daily News (3/16/2010) reports, “2 Cops Who Killed for Mafia: Feds
Say Retired Detective Pals are Linked to at Least 8 Murders.” And the NY Daily News also
reported (3/5/10) “2 NYPD Police Officers Charged In $1M NJ Perfume Heist.” Fortunately, the
number of officers who do not succumb to those temptations far exceeds the number who do.
Unfortunately, there are a growing number of officers who succumb to other temptations when
making arrests for ‘victimless crimes.’
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 5
The majority of police are less likely to overlook serious criminal activity when it involves
child abuse, rape, robbery, assault, murder or anything for which there is a real victim, except
when cops commit those crimes. In 2006, NYPD Officer Angel Negron3 was arrested and
charged with molesting a young girl for 4 years... starting from the time she was 8 years old. And
LAPD officer Michael Casados got caught- not once but twice- for having sex with underage
female explorer scouts, including one who was 10 years old when he started having sex with her.
He was fired but did not go to prison for his activities, and neither did any of the other officers
who were involved in the Explorer Scout sex scandals in Hollywood in the 1980s.
When serious crimes do occur, police resources are rightfully spent to locate and apprehend
the perpetrator, regardless of how long it takes. The police may not always be successful and
sometimes the statute of limitations runs out on ‘lesser’ crimes, but as a rule the police do not pick
and choose which cases they will pursue. Serious criminals are not given a free pass nor are they
offered more opportunities to commit crimes by agreeing to cooperate with the police and give
the police information on other ‘criminals,’ as they often are if they are prostitutes or madams.4
Infamous Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss’ predecessor Elizabeth Adams, aka Madam
Alex, is a prime example of cooperation. She operated one of the most successful prostitution
rings in Los Angeles history for over 25 years, with the full knowledge and consent of the LAPD.
She was considered an asset to law enforcement because of the types of information she was able
to provide them, which ‘lead to major, major criminals going to jail,’ according to defense
witness LAPD Detective Daniel Lott, during Madam Alex’s 1988 criminal hearing after she had
been arrested for failing to give information to another vice cop, LAPD Detective Alan
Vanderpool. In the arrest report, Vanderpool stated, “No contact. Inactive. Should go to jail.” As
long as she provided him with information, she was free to ‘exploit’ the women who worked for
her and make as much money as she could. During her criminal hearing, in May of 1990,5 the LA
Times reported ‘Court Told of Help Madam Gave Police,’ “Beverly Hills Madam’ Elizabeth
Adams was lauded for her undercover police work by a member of the same agency that arrested
her on suspicion of pandering in 1988. “She was the best informant I ever met,” veteran LAPD
Detective Daniel Lott testified at a hearing on a defense motion to dismiss charges against her.
Lott, who acknowledged an ongoing professional relationship with Adams during most of his 27
years on the force as a vice and narcotics detective said that...“the department looked the other
way at her brothel activities because of the help she provided on numerous criminal cases.”’
Ironically, if, rather than threaten to expose her list of clients, Heidi Fleiss had agreed to
become an informant like Madam Alex from whom she stole the “little black book” Alex kept in a
Kleenex box on her bed, Heidi might still be operating her call girl ring.
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 6
In September of 1990, San Diego’s cozy relationship between prostitutes and cops was exposed
by the San Diego Union; ‘Alleged Links Between Cops, Prostitutes Raise many Deeply Troubling
Questions.’ Joe Cantlupe wrote, “Police Chief Bob Burgreen said ‘dealing with prostitutesespecially
on an informant basis- is a very large part of our business’ and that perhaps citizens in
a largely conservative community like San Diego may have a hard time understanding that.’”
Unfortunately for the victims of real crimes, the police and the community- a small
segment of society has saddled the police with a mandate to enforce a myriad of prohibitionist
regulations which turn the police from impartial protector and ally of true victims to the arbiter of
moral values. According to politicians who support these regulations, the laws are ‘for our own
good.’
Where the ‘victim’ is also the ‘criminal,’ the police officer becomes the ‘complainant’ who
must instigate a violation of law to make an arrest. The cops are permitted to go as far as
necessary to ensure a conviction, including having sex6 with a suspected prostitute/victim, or
hiring7 someone from the community to have sex with the suspected prostitute and then testifying
against that victim/criminal. In 1979, Spokane, WA, Judge Daniel Maggs said ‘Police agents
may engage in sex to carry out prostitution investigations as long as they don’t try to trap anyone
into the crime, a Spokane County District Court Judge has ruled. Judge Daniel Maggs said “It
may violate public morals but personal beliefs can’t be substituted for the law.”’
More recently, Tom Jackman of the Washington Post reported (2/13/06) ‘Spotsylvania(VA)
Deputies Receive Sex Services in Prostitution Cases,’
“They enter the massage parlors as undercover detectives. They leave as satisfied
customers. In Spotsylvania County, as part of a campaign by the sheriff's office to root
out prostitution in the massage parlor business, detectives have been receiving sexual
services from "masseuses." During several visits to Moon Spa on Plank Road last
month, detectives allowed women to perform sexual acts on them on four occasions and
once left a $350 tip, according to court papers...”
Although many police agencies claim they no longer allow this practice, the reality is that
the cops often go beyond what is necessary to “catch suspects in the act.” As Spotsylvania, VA
County Sheriff Howard Smith said, he stands by the practice of allowing detectives to receive
sexual services in the course of their investigations, “because fondling alone is not a crime in
Virginia and that the massage-parlor employees spoke little English. For those reasons,
Spotsylvania authorities said the detectives were advised to allow the acts of prostitution to
proceed further than in a simple street prostitution arrest, in order to build a case that the owner
of the business knew of and profited from illegal sexual acts for money by employees...we are left
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 7
with the fundamental moral question of all criminal justice enforcement -- what is worse for our
community: Organized prostitution and all of the crime which is proven to arise from it -- or a
few police officers engaging in illicit sex acts in order to ultimately drive such crime from their
jurisdiction & to better protect their community?” Thoughtfully though, “only unmarried
detectives are assigned to such cases...” Smith continued, "It's not something the sheriff likes his
people to do, but in these cases, it's the only way to prosecute these people [for being victims of
exploitation...]." He said that the practice is not new and his department's approach was not a
secret since detectives had testified to similar experiences in trials of other massage parlor
operators.
Where cops are not allowed to engage in sex with alleged prostitutes to make their case, it
is nice to know that there are civic minded men in the community who will step up to bat for
them. From the Associated Press out of Nashville, Tennessee (02/02/05) comes this interesting
story: ‘Tenn. Prosecutor Probes Police Tactics,’ “Police have paid confidential informants
thousands of dollars to engage in sexual encounters with prostitutes as part of a crackdown on
the sex business in Nashville, drawing criticism from the top prosecutor. Police spent almost
$120,000 over three years to foster the encounters, which involve sexual touching and sometimes
more. The evidence has helped the city close more than 35 businesses believed to be selling sex
and disconnect phone lines to about 100 escort services. ‘What's the greater good?’ asked Capt.
Todd Henry, who heads the department's specialized investigations division. ‘It may be distasteful
to some people, but it's better that we have those places shut down.’ Police pay informants about
$300 for up to three prostitution ‘buys,’ and an extra $100 for each additional transaction,
department officials said.”
As recently as November 2009, the cops have paid informants to have sex with prostitutes
in Pennsylvania, even though this particular case got thrown out by the appellate court:
‘Prostitution Case Tossed Over Gov't- Funded Sex,’ “An appeals court has ruled Pennsylvania
State Police botched a prostitution investigation in which troopers gave an informant money to
pay for sex four times at a massage parlor, along with a total of $180 for the man's trouble.”
There are numerous laws prohibiting all kinds of ‘immoral’ behavior, including laws
prohibiting the use of drugs and gambling, which also result in selective enforcement and its
accompanying corruption. However the consequences of the prohibition of consenting adult
prostitution are the most harmful to those whom the laws were intended to protect because they
are the most vulnerable.
Using drugs can alter one’s behavior, ‘selling’ intimate access to ones body does not. The
‘crime’ of prostitution is committed when one asks for, is offered or receives compensation8 for
performing sexual services which could otherwise be legally given away to as many sexual
partners as one wishes. The same sexual activities can be legally9 compensated when performed
in front of a camera and crew. California penal code states that to "Commit prostitution" means to
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 8
engage in sexual conduct for money or other consideration, but does not include sexual conduct
engaged in as a part of any stage performance, play, or other entertainment open to the public.
When identical sexual activity can be legal under some commercial circumstances,
including porn and adult stage shows, and also when there is no compensation, the consequences
to those who ‘illegally’ engage can be disastrous. Once again, it is the ambiguity of the laws that
is the direct cause of selective and arbitrary enforcement. Such enforcement is where the
‘complainant’ police officer can offer the criminal/victim leniency and the opportunity to
continue violating the law in exchange for cooperation. The use of prostitutes and madams as
informants has been a major tool for law enforcement in the apprehension of supposedly more
‘serious’ criminals. How are the cops able determine which prostitute/victims to rescue/ arrest and
which prostitute/victims can be sacrificed for the greater good; that is, allowed to continue being
exploited by their clients or these madam informants for money? It comes down to who is
‘cooperative’ and who is not.
There are far more people engaged in prostitution, as providers and clients, than can ever
be apprehended and prosecuted by currently available law enforcement resources. For every
prostitute, there must be at least 10 clients if the prostitute is to have a business. If every tax dollar
was allocated to the enforcement of prostitution laws and every police officer in every city was
assigned to the vice detail full time, and the vice detail operated 24 hours per day each and every
day, and every courtroom expropriated for the sole purpose of prosecuting prostitution cases,
there would still not be sufficient resources to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate every prostitute
and every client. Given that there are crimes with real victims which need solving, the only
option for law enforcement is to selectively enforce the laws.
When it comes to determining which clients to arrest, there is no question that there is a
double standard for those who are wealthy and have power and influence, and those who are poor
and more likely to seek a street worker than hire upscale prostitutes at $5,000 an hour. Former NY
Governor and billionaire Eliot Spitzer not only hired prostitutes but took them across state lines, a
federal offense. He was not arrested for any crime while the madam who ran the high end escort
agency who provided Mr. Spitzer’s call girls, went to prison. The madam who provided
prostitutes to Louisiana’s Republican Senator David Vitter was convicted of federal offenses and
sentenced to prison while David Vitter is still a senator. Other men like 75 year old Charles
Fletcher of Cape Coral, Florida, are not so lucky. Mr. Fletcher was arrested and charged with
solicitation, and his name and photo appear on a website dedicated to exposing everyone
engaging in prostitution activity.
The police have no way of ‘eliminating’ much prostitution and certainly not all prostitution
as many radical leftist feminists and religious conservatives are demanding. The draconian
enforcement of laws and even more draconian punishment necessary to ‘eradicate’ even a small
portion of prostitution would nullify everyone’s civil liberties. There is no constitutionally
acceptable way to mandate the intrusion into the most private activities of everyone or impose the
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 9
kind of harsh laws and penalties that would have any significant impact on those who are willing
to break the law.
In California, the definition of prostitution is not ‘sex for money’ but rather it is defined as
‘a lewd act for money or other consideration.’ And ‘lewd act’ is defined as ‘the touching of
breasts, buttocks or genitals for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal.’
To make an arrest, a police officer can assert that the suspect/victim ‘possesses the intent to
commit prostitution,’ and the suspect/victim may be in a vehicle, whether moving or not.10 The
law says that there has to be an ‘act of furtherance’ to make the arrest legitimate, but that ‘act’ can
be the possession of a condom. This tends to discourage prostitutes from carrying condoms, if
having one on their person means that they will be arrested and sent to jail. If our goal is to
minimize the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, penalizing those who carry them is not a
good idea.
Beyond the health issues raised by penalizing the possession of a condom, more serious
issues should be considered: why would legislators pass a law that implies cops have the ability to
read minds? At present this law only pertains to prostitution, but if it passes constitutional muster,
why not make this useful tool available to all law enforcement to combat murder, bank robberies,
drug deals, domestic violence, terrorism, and even child sexual abuse within the Catholic
Church11 and the Boy Scouts?12 Wouldn’t it enable the cops to quickly solve all crimes if, for
example, they only had to allege their arrestee intended to rob a bank, and if the ‘suspect’ was
outside a bank, it could be considered an ‘act of furtherance’?
This presents a major problem for the courts, though, as they cannot always rely on the
honesty of the police in writing the reports upon which the arrests were based. I fondly recall my
training days at the LAPD academy13 when I was taught ‘creative report writing’ in which the
‘facts’ may be embellished to give more substance to the allegations, making it much more likely
that the defendant would be convicted of whatever crime or infraction of which they were
accused.
Fortunately I am not the only one pointing out the problem with lying cops. A respected
federal judge, Jack Weinstein, slammed the New York Police Department14 ‘as plagued by
"widespread falsification by arresting officers." He said that while the vast majority of cops don't
engage in crooked practices, it was common enough to be an institutional problem.’
The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati reports (1/29/09): ‘Legal System Struggles With
How to React When Police Officers Lie,’ ‘"It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors,
defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers, though
it's difficult to detect in specific cases,” said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the
1990s.’ And Alan M. Dershowitz, told the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
(12/1/1998) “Police perjury in criminal cases - particularly in the context of searches and other
exclusionary rule issues - is so pervasive that the former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City
has estimated that ‘hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 10
every year testifying about drug arrests alone.”
There is actually a term for cops lying on the stand and in writing their reports-
‘Testilying’15 for giving false testimony on the witness stand and ‘Reportilying.’ According to the
1993 Mollen Commission Report, “The practice of police falsification in connection with such
arrests is so common in certain precincts that it has spawned its own word: ‘testilying.’ . . .
Officers also commit falsification to serve what they perceive to be ‘legitimate’ law enforcement
ends - and for ends that many honest and corrupt officers alike stubbornly defend as correct. In
their view, regardless of the legality of the arrest, the defendant is in fact guilty and ought to be
arrested.”
As Christopher Slobogin notes in his 1996 University of Colorado Law Review article,16
“Police perjury also occurs in connection with the fabrication of their reports. Although not
technically testimony, police know these reports may be dispositive in a case resolved through
plea bargaining, and can be compared to testimony in cases that aren't. As a result,
‘reportilying’ also appears to be pervasive in some jurisdictions. The Mollen Commission, for
instance, described how narcotics police ‘falsify arrest papers to make it appear as if an arrest
that actually occurred inside a building [in violation of departmental regulations] took place on
the street...’ That perjury persists despite these risks can be explained by one simple factor:
police think they can get away with it. Police are seldom made to pay for their lying. To some
extent, this immunity may be due to their own expertise at deceit. Many prosecutors and judges
believe perjury is systematic and often suspect it is occurring in individual cases. But they also
frequently claim that they are not sure enough to do anything about it; after all, the typical
situation pits a police officer, well trained on how to ‘constitutionalize’ a case, against a person
charged with a crime, who is decidedly less aware of the relevant law.”
And more recently, the Boston Globe’s Dick Lehr (7/31/09) reported ‘A new Bright Line
Rule against lying.’ Asks Lehr, “The question I have for Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis is
this: Why does it take a federal judge to throw a judicial tantrum about a lying cop before the
Boston Police Department investigates one of its own? The judge, Mark Wolf, kicked off a legal
brouhaha this spring by ruling that an arresting officer in a Boston gun case had testified falsely.
Wolf is mulling sanctions against a federal prosecutor in the case who failed to turn over police
records to defense attorneys revealing the cop’s credibility gap...
Indeed, it turns out the commissioner has plenty to say about police lying and the damage it
does to policing, not just in Boston but everywhere. ‘Dishonesty is inconsistent with the duties of
a police officer,’‘ he says. ‘We are paid to be witnesses, and when we are untruthful the system
breaks down.’”
Given that prostitutes are less believed on the stand than narcotic suspects, it is likely that
‘reportilying’ occurs more frequently in prostitution arrests. As Pasadena (CA) Superior Court
Judge Alston17 said, “Who in the hell is going to believe a whore on the witness stand, anyway?”
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 11
I am sure that’s what Houston Police Officer Samuel Roccaforte, a 28 year veteran of the
force, was counting on when on October 6, 2009, he arrested 46-year-old Phyllis Stokely.
According to the police report he filed subsequent to her arrest, she agreed to sexual intercourse
for $200. Unfortunately for the officer, Ms. Stokely secretly taped the conversation and presented
the tapes to her attorney. According to the tape, the conversation went as follows18:
Roccaforte could be heard saying, "I will tell you what I want. I'll take an (expletive) or sex
with a condom. Can you do that for me?" Stokely replied, "Sir, like I said, I don't provide
that kind of service."
Roccaforte went on, "Well, you did. You know you did, I know you did. There's no audio,
there's no video. It's going to be my word against yours and who do you think they're going
to believe?"19
Had the tape not existed, no doubt Ms. Stokely would be doing a stint in the pokey after
being coerced into accepting a plea. It is interesting to note what Roccaforte's attorney, Chip
Lewis, had to say about the charges against his client: “I find it very hard to put this whore's
credibility ahead of a well-decorated, exemplary officer. I'm very comfortable calling her a
prostitute because we have the ad (on the internet).” There is no question in my mind that Officer
Roccaforte and his fellow vice cops frequently took liberties with the truth on the prostitution
arrest reports they wrote because ‘well decorated, exemplary officers’ know that the judge and
jury will always believe them over the ‘whores,’ who in these situations, are considered criminals,
not ‘exploited trafficking victims.’ Maybe I am too quick to judge Officer Roccaforte a liar- it
could be that this well-decorated, exemplary officer was just so desperate to protect poor Phyllis
from exploitation and abuse at the hands of her real clients that he was willing to risk his career
by committing perjury just to ensure her physical and mental well being by arresting her even if
she hadn’t actually broken the law. As a Philadelphia vice cop said after a sting operation took
down 5 or more suspected prostitutes operating out of Center City, “Jail just may be the safest
place these high end hookers have ever been...”20
Many cops insist that arresting women and locking them up is really for ‘their own good.’
Such was the contention of now retired Boston vice officers Bill Dwyer and his partner Mark
Molloy. In 1982, a young Boston prostitute named Robin Benedict was working in Boston’s
Combat Zone. Vice officers Dwyer and Molloy “became aware of her activity and were actively
trying to stop her from working by arresting her multiple times.”
However, they couldn’t get any of her ‘johns’ to testify against her so that they could ‘put
her out of business’ for her own safety. They even asked one of her primary clients, Professor
William Douglas, to testify against her so she could do some time in jail and be safe from
predatory clients like... Professor Douglas. Douglas, an overweight, married, father of three and
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 12
respected professor at Tufts University, had become enamored of his sex worker and began
blowing through his personal savings to pay for his dates with her. He fantasized that their
relationship was something more than it was, and when he learned it was not, on Friday, March 5,
1983 Professor Douglas, brutally murdered her. Vice Detective Dwyer opined to a reporter that if
he had only been able to put Robin in jail, she might still be alive... but is this an appropriate or
viable solution to protecting potential victims of violence?21 Would we consider applying this
‘solution’ to victims of domestic violence or rape? If it is good enough to keep prostitutes safe,
why not use it to protect wives and rape victims?
Although her body was never found, Professor Douglas admitted to bashing her head in
with a sledgehammer, “pounding her so hard that her skull crumpled and he could see deep
inside her head.” In 1984 he was convicted and sent to prison for 18 to 20 years. He was released
in 1993, after serving less than half his sentence.22 The first few years after her murder, Robin’s
mother, Shirley Benedict, faithfully placed her daughter's picture and a notice of her annual
memorial Mass in the local paper. Each year, someone tore that picture from the newspaper,
scrawled the word ‘whore’ across it and mailed it to the Benedicts' home. There are unfortunately
many people out there, including cops and judges, who believe that if a woman is a whore, she
deserves whatever she gets. Pasadena (CA) Superior Court Judge Gilbert C. Alston,23 a former
police officer, said “A woman who goes out on the street and makes a whore out of herself opens
herself up to anybody. She steps outside the protection of the law... ”
If the ‘safety’ of women in potentially dangerous jobs is really what concerns society, why
was no one worried about my safety when I worked nights during most of my ten year career with
the LAPD, driving a patrol car without a gun or a partner, handling radio calls until 3 or 4 in the
morning? Now that was dangerous work! But no one sought to have me arrested and taken to jail
where I would be safe.
What cops don’t tell you is that prostitutes often get raped while in custody by the the very
men who are supposed to protect them. Men such as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy
Kenneth Lawrence,24 who raped a woman prisoner shortly after she was sentenced for
prostitution. And like Corrections Officer Willis, who coerced me into giving him oral sex at the
halfway facility where I was housed during my incarceration in 1988. This officer extorted sexual
favors from many women who came through the facility, and eventually, after I mentioned this
incident on a national television show upon my release, the officer was transferred to work in a
men’s prison. As he did not get arrested or lose his job, one can conclude that being extorted for
free sexual favors is not as harmful to women as consenting to be paid for sexual services.
According to Melissa Farley, “the experience of prostitution is just like rape. Prostitutes
are raped, on the average, eight to ten times per year...”25 I have no idea where she came up
with those statistics, because as a prostitute, I was never raped- not once. While individuals who
propagate this misinformation have a right to their unqualified opinions, why don’t us prostitutes
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 13
have just as much right to say we are NOT victims- except for being victims of the laws which
make us criminals and of the stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of those who refuse to listen to
our voices, those who believe we are better off being arrested and branded as prostitutes for the
rest of our lives?
Furthermore, those who claim that prostitution is like rape clearly have never been raped.
Anyone who has been raped knows that consensual sex for money is nothing like rape.
Apparently though, when a prostitute is actually raped or extorted into having sex by a law
enforcement agent, it is not a big deal.
But the rapes and extortions don’t just happen when a prostitute is in jail. They happen
when cops and judges decide to be ‘generous’ to prostitutes and allow them to continue working,
sex for protection, in exchange for free services.26
David Kocieniewski of the NY Newsday reported in 1991 ‘Bronx Cop Charged in Rape,’
“A police officer arrested yesterday on charges of raping a Bronx prostitute is being investigated
in connection with the slaying of another prostitute last year... Sources familiar with the case said
Office Kevin Burke allegedly made comments while assaulting the victim yesterday that may tie
him to the strangulation of a prostitute in the Bronx last year. The slaying occurred near the
scene of yesterday’s alleged rape.” Tellingly, while the author of the article said it was an
‘alleged’ rape, he did not state that either of the victims were ‘alleged’ prostitutes, just that they
were prostitutes.
When Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss was prosecuted for pandering in 1994, a number of
editorials were written about the waste of taxpayer dollars on the prosecution of victimless
crimes. Heidi’s girls were from upscale backgrounds and none were forced into their life of
highly paid sex with celebrities and politicians. One of those editorials in the New York Times
was written by Anna Quindlen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling novelist.
In response, Heidi’s prosecutor, Alan Carter, wrote a letter to the editor dated December 7,
1994, protesting the statement that Ms. Quindlen made that ‘prostitution was a victimless crime.’
He stated “I have prosecuted and reviewed cases in which prostitutes were beaten, kidnapped,
raped and murdered. As Ms. Quindlen correctly states, there are statutes specific to each of these
crimes. However, she fails to recognize that prostitutes are particularly vulnerable to such
offenses and that panderers gain from placing prostitutes in jeopardy...”
What he failed to note is that none of Heidi’s girls had ever been raped, kidnapped or
murdered, and neither had any of the women working for Madam Alex, police informant; or that
even as he was prosecuting Heidi for potential harm to her employees, a Long Beach Police
Officer, Bryon Ellsberry, was being tried for actually raping a prostitute and upon his conviction,
was given a probation sentence.27 Unfortunately, prostitutes being raped or extorted for sexual
favors by cops happens far too often,28 which is ironic, as one of the main arguments for keeping
prostitution illegal is because, according to Prosecutor Carter, prostitutes are vulnerable to rape
and murder.
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 14
In June of 1985 San Diego Tribune journalist Vicki Torres wrote, ‘Slain Woman Linked to
Police Sex Case.’ According to Ms. Torres, “A woman found 11 days ago beaten and strangled
near Sunrise Highway in Pine Valley has been identified as Donna Marie Gentile, a convicted
prostitute whose involvement with two San Diego police officers resulted in the demotion of one
and the firing of another...” Gentile was the second victim in the string of prostitute murders,
which ultimately numbered over 45. A street sex worker and police informant, Gentile was found
strangled to death, her mouth stuffed with gravel, a month after she testified against two police
officers.
Donna’s death and the murder of 45 other prostitutes from 1985 to 1992 became a rallying
point for a number of San Diego artists, who were horrified to learn that the police consider
homicides of prostitutes to be ‘NHIs’ - an unofficial police term meaning ‘No Humans
Involved.’29 To have those who are supposed to protect prostitutes categorize prostitute murders
as NHIs does not render LA Prosecutor Alan Carter’s concern for Heidi’s girls at all credible!
Unfortunately the use of the term ‘NHI’ is not limited to San Diego cops. It is used by cops
nationwide to denote the homicides of ‘disposable people.’
I’d say these are reasons to keep cops away from prostitutes! There are too many cops who
cannot be trusted to refrain from ‘reportilying’ or using their authority to rape/extort or even kill
them.30 Cops like Florida’s prolific serial killer Gerard Schaefer, who is estimated to have killed
between 34 and 170 women, many of them murdered during his tenure as a police officer and
deputy sheriff in Broward County. Schaefer would lure young women, with the help of his badge,
to rape, torture, mutilate and murder them. He enjoyed tying his victims to trees, leaving them
there while he went about his work as a police officer. According to author Stacy Dittrich in her
2010 book “Murder Behind the Badge,” Schaefer considered himself to be an angel of God, ‘A
self proclaimed messiah put on earth to rid the world of all whores, sinners and disobedient
women.’
In 1982, the year I left the LAPD in disgust, a cop scandal broke out that seemed at first to
only involve the so called Hollywood burglary ring in which the cops who were part of the
‘special burglary response unit’ would set off the alarms of various electronic equipment stores
and then go in and steal whatever equipment was on the list of desired merchandise submitted by
other cops. When caught, one of the partners, Jack Myers, admitted committing so many
burglaries that he couldn’t remember exactly how many, but at least 150.
The burglary ring was just one of the many nefarious activities of the cops in the
Hollywood Division. According to Officer Myers before he was killed in a tragic auto ‘accident,’
“the corruption was a hundred times worse than anyone thought.” He said, “the illegal activities
also involved policemen picking up prostitutes on the boulevard and taking them up to the ‘tree’
(in Griffith Park) for sexual activity that he said involved ‘half of the division.’ In return for
sexual favors, the police would not hassle the women during their solicitations. Once the ‘main
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 15
man’ had the police involved with the prostitutes, gambling and drinking on duty, he had them in
a position where they could not divulge other improprieties.”
A prostitute named Sandra Bowers31 was set to be a key witness against the officers, but
she was murdered prior to giving testimony. With two witnesses no longer around, none of the
other officers were convicted.
Also that year, as I learned from the late attorney Harry Weiss, considered to be the
granddaddy of all Los Angeles criminal lawyers, that three LA call girls who had filed a lawsuit
against the LAPD cops for having sex with them before they were arrested, had met with fatal car
accidents not unlike burglar officer Jack Myers. Harry did not think it was a coincidence.
In 1984, the year I was arrested for one count of pandering and for which I ultimately
served a nearly six year sentence,32 two San Francisco vice cops were given a pass after they
hired a prostitute to orally copulate a recruit during a Police Academy graduation party at the
Rathskeller Restaurant. A day after she testified against the cops, the prostitute was arrested,
standing on a street corner talking with two friends. The vice cops were not charged with
pandering,33 even though it clearly was a case of ‘encouraging a person to commit an act of
prostitution’- the same crime for which I had been arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated. In the
San Francisco case, the prostitute actually orally copulated the recruit, but in my case, the date
never took place.
In 1988, a Kern County (CA) Sheriff’s Deputy, David Rogers, was sentenced to die in the
gas chamber for the murder of two prostitutes. Rogers admitted shooting one of the women in an
argument over the amount due for a sex act.
Also in 1988, two LAPD officers, Richard Ford and Robert Von Villas, were convicted of
attempting to murder an exotic dancer to collect a $100,000 life insurance policy they took out on
her.
And again in 1988, another LAPD sergeant, Emmanuel Valencia, was found to have
participated in lewd acts with a transvestite prostitute on numerous occasions. He received a 6
month suspension without pay. He did not lose his job. He did not go to jail.
In November 1988, ex- CHP Officer William Taylor was convicted of running a teenage
prostitution ring and sentenced to 8 years. He could have received 16 years.
In 1991, Officer Charles Jiles, from Upland California, was convicted of operating a
prostitution ring in Orange County.
In 1996, San Francisco police officer Francis Hogue, was sentenced to 6 years in prison for
kidnapping a masseuse and forcing her to orally copulate him while on duty.
In 1997, the New York Daily News reported “Ex-Cop guilty of paralyzing prostitute.” A
former cop was convicted of shooting and paralyzing a Queens prostitute who mocked him after
he failed to perform sexually.
In 1998, five years after the ‘clean up’ of police corruption that spawned the Mollen
Commission and subsequent report, a sex scandal of epic proportions erupted in the Midtown
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 16
South Precinct where numerous cops had been for years protecting a local brothel and having sex
with the prostitutes on a regular basis.
The “worst kept secret on the block” came to light when a factory owner caught one of the
prostitutes sneaking a client into a bathroom of his handbag factory. He threatened to call the
cops, but she retorted
“What would you say if I told you my boyfriend is... a cop, so when you call the police, you’ll be
calling him.” According to the Daily News, “Up and down the block, immigrant garment
workers, factory managers and short order cooks spoke matter-of-factly about the alleged deal
that kept the hookers in business and the cops happy... Police officers were a regular sight at one
of the more notorious hooker hangouts...”
On July 22, 1998, NY Post’s Murray Weiss wrote “As many as 40 cops will face criminal
or departmental charges in the police brothel scandal- twice the number of officers already
stripped of their guns and badges... Sources say cops implicated in the decade long sex- forprotection
racket face the stiffest charges...”
In 1999, the Associated Press reported that “Three current or former Hartford police
officers were arrested by federal agents... and another arrest was possible.” The officers were
charged with violating the civil rights of Hartford area prostitutes by forcing them to engage in
sex under the threat of arrest...
In 2004, during an undercover sting, former Chatham Township (NJ) Police Chief Thomas
Ramsey “was caught trying to set up a prostitution business with a female convict in Mount
Olive, promising her he could bring security and unique qualifications to the enterprise.”
Also in 2004 and also in New Jersey, Runnemede Police Chief James M. Leason was
charged with misconduct in office after authorities raided an apartment where a prostitution ring
was allegedly operating. Leason, 56, was charged with promoting prostitution.
On March 11, 2005, a Middlesex Township (PA) Police corporal accused of coercing
female suspects to have sex with him. Kenny Johnson, faced 20 charges, including rape,
involuntary sexual intercourse, sexual assault, bribery, tampering with evidence, oppression and
offenses related to prostitution.
On March 20, 201034 Camden, New Jersey, 29-year-old Officer Kevin Parry pleaded
guilty the in US District Court, admitting having stolen drugs and money along with other officers
after conducting illegal searches, arresting illegally and for having planted and traded drugs for
securing information from prostitutes and issued threats to arrest those unwilling to cooperate in
their illegal acts.
On April 9, 2010, from the Orange County Register- Two California officers Anthony
Orban, a five-year officer with the Westminster police, and Jeff Jelinek, a state prison guard at the
Chino Institute for Men, now face life in prison if convicted of the crime that unfolded in the
parking lot of the Ontario Mills Mall on April 3. The two had an all day drinking spree and then
decided to kidnap and rape a 25 year old waitress who just got off work. Perhaps they mistook her
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 17
for a hooker because as Ronald Huff,35 a criminologist at UC Irvine, said, “Crimes of random
violence by police officers are unusual. It's statistically bizarre to have an officer assault a
woman in broad daylight and rape her like this case alleges. This is really rare." Huff said that
“if you hear about a cop sexually assaulting a woman, it's usually involves a prostitute or a
traffic stop in a remote location.” And it ‘usually involves’ a prostitute because the cops usually
get away with it. Too bad for them, because if she had been a prostitute, no doubt they would get
probation sentences.
Even judges use their authority and influence to get sexual favors or to escape punishment
when they get caught with prostitutes, like Judge Benjamin Diaz.36 In 1984, Sacramento Superior
Court Judge Diaz was caught with a prostitute, Kassandra Daniels, whom he picked up “for
laughs.” The judge was cited and released on his promise to appear at his arraignment while the
prostitute was arrested and released after posting a $2,000 bond.
In 1988, the Los Angeles Times reported that Orange County Municipal Judge Brian Carter
was ordered to go to a formal hearing on allegations that he and Judge Calvin Schmidt had given
lenient treatment to prostitutes in return for sexual favors.
The US Government allows law enforcement agents to hire prostitutes to have sex with
other suspected criminals to gain information and a conviction. In March, 1987, the LA Times
reported that the US 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled that it is "unrealistic to expect law
enforcement officers to ferret out criminals without the help of unsavory characters, a federal
appeals court reinstated criminal charges against a suspected heroin dealer caught with the help
of a prostitute acting as a government informant. Helen Miller, who according to evidence
presented in the case was known to the government as a prostitute and heroin user, was employed
by the FBI as an informant in an investigation of a suspected heroin dealer...”
Are we to believe that it is okay for the government to pay a prostitute to have sex with
someone, as long as the ‘someone’ is a worse criminal than the prostitute? Evidently the judges
were not aware that pandering is worse than rape or robbery because ‘prostitution is like rape,’
and thus the judges ruled that taxpayers can pay for a woman to be raped by a drug suspect. How
is it that the same government that wants to protect ‘prostituted’ women from exploitation,
considers those ‘exploited women’ to be ‘unsavory characters’?
The above examples of police and judicial corruption in connection with the enforcement
of prostitution laws are unfortunately but a few of the thousands I have collected through the
years, from early 1900 to the present. There is overwhelming evidence police officers are not only
hypocritical in the enforcement of prostitution laws, but have much to gain personally and
professionally to keep women under the control of such laws. I knew from the time that two of
my LAPD colleagues offered me $200 to be the going away present for a retiring captain there
something was very wrong with laws which could be so arbitrarily enforced.
Recently there has been a change in the dialogue about prostitution. While many antiprostitutionists
still posit the ‘exploitation of women and children’ argument, others have begun
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 18
using another, equally fatuous, argument to keep consenting adult prostitution illegal. They are
now suggesting that even if a woman consents to engage in sex work, she doesn’t really have
‘choices’37 and decriminalizing prostitution will not change that, so they oppose decriminalizing
consenting adult prostitution on that basis. As long as prostitution remains a crime, the only
‘choices’ prostitutes really have are whether or not to cooperate with the cops; give the cops sex
for protection, become an informant, or go to jail. Inasmuch as being arrested for prostitution
renders us nearly unemployable, making us criminals will ensure that we never have any other
choices!
Having established that law enforcement agents, being human, are prone to abuse their
powers when it comes to enforcing victimless crime laws- I can state unequivocally that it is
unconscionable to continue to give cops authority over adults who, for whatever reason, engage in
sex work. The actual harm done to those who are victims of arbitrary law enforcement is far more
serious than any supposed harm that may be inflicted on ‘victims’ by being paid for sexual
activities that would be legal if they were not paid, or the dubious harm of not having ‘choices’
such as finding other jobs that pays anywhere near $100 or $5,000 an hour. Those who end up
cleaning toilets for minimum wage don’t have any other job options or ‘choices,’ or they
wouldn’t be cleaning toilets for a living. No one would suggest that lack of choices for janitors is
a legitimate reason to criminalize their work and throw them in jail, would they?
How great is the harm to true victims of trafficking and sexual slavery, who cannot be
helped because there are no resources available to help them? The limited resources that are
available are squandered by law enforcement agencies arresting prostitutes and their clients
without proof of exploitation or abuse. But why would we arrest ‘victims’ in the first place?
Using the pretext of ferreting out underage prostitution, sex slavery and trafficking, the police and
FBI arrest everyone first and then sort out the ‘victims.’ If an adult prostitute is not a victim,
should they be arrested because they aren’t victims? And if a client or ‘john’ has not abused a sex
worker or hired an underage person, is it appropriate to charge them with a crime38? Or threaten
to label them as sex offenders?39 Wouldn’t it be better for underage persons if we started labeling
the pedophiliac priests and Boy Scout leaders as sex offenders before we do this to non-abusive
clients of prostitutes whose only ‘crime’ is being horny... or lonely?
The harm done to law enforcement, through the enticement of good officers into accepting
money or other favors from those ‘victims,’ is immeasurable. Police officers learn quickly that the
best way to score convictable arrests is by reportilying, and they know that the prosecutors, judges
and juries will always believe them over the whores. Society looks the other way because, after
all, the cops are ‘rescuing’ the women and children.
Finally, there is the harm that is done to society, which loses confidence in its law
enforcement agents and the criminal justice system, because trust has been lost and faith in the
system irreparably damaged. Victims of real crimes are left with the unpleasant realization that
the system cares more about pursuing and punishing ‘victims’ of a subjective theory- that
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 19
commercial sex harms and exploits all women regardless of their age or consent- than it cares
about their plight, providing no justice for those who did not consent to being robbed or raped.
Ask the rape victims in Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago40 how they feel about the
rape kits41 that have gone untested for years because those police departments don’t have the
financial resources to process the kits and search for the rapists, but can afford to send 100
officers42 out to arrest 14 unarmed ‘suspected prostitutes.’
Those who press for stronger penalties and more restrictive legislation for commercial sex
fail to take
into account the historic corruptibility of vice law enforcers. When even those with money, power
and position- men who write the laws like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and
Louisiana Senator David Vitter- are willing to risk everything for a tryst with a prostitute- how
can we expect the average law enforcement agent to resist temptation when he knows the odds are
in his favor that he won’t get caught? How many cases does it take before society understands
that these abuses are not an aberration but the general rule? Police perpetrators find prostitutes
easy targets for the same reason serial killers do- because they believe no one is going to care if a
whore is raped or killed. And the only people who say they do care, want to put us in the custody
of the men who are more likely to harm us than protect us!
The cumulative and unacceptable damage to every segment of society from the arbitrary
enforcement of victimless crime laws should cause us to reconsider our priorities. With the
limited resources we have, we should concentrate on protecting citizens from those who would do
them real harm. Unfortunately, the greatest harm to society as a whole comes from those wishing
to protect us from ourselves, ‘for our own good.’
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 20
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McPhee, Michele, Carolina Gonzalez and Dave Goldiner 1998 "Nabe: Police Hookups Well-
Known." 7/18/98. Available online at:
http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/1998/07/18/1998-07-
18_nabe__police_hookups_well_kn.html
Modesto Bee 2010 “7 Arrested In Prostitution Bust.” The Modesto Bee 4/3/10.
Mulvihill, Geoff 2010 "Residents of NJ City Say Cops Worse Than Criminals." Associated
Press, available online at http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/04/03/
residents_of_nj_city_say_cops_worse_than_criminals/
Murphy, Kim 1987 "Court OKs Government Use of Sex to Seize Suspect." Los Angeles Times
4/9/87. Available online at: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-09/news/mn-392_1_court-oksgovernment
Oliver, Ryan 2003 "Cops Hit Suspected Valley Prostitution Dens." LA Daily News 7/1/03.
Popp, Robert 1984 "No Indictments Due in S.F. Cops' Sex Party." The San Francisco Chronicle
8/2/84.
Poppy Project, The 2008 Big Brothel: A Survey of the Off-Street Sex Industry in London.
London: The Poppy Project.
Quindlen, Anna 1994 "Public and Private: Sex For Sale." The New York Times Letter to the
Editor, 12/7/94. Available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/26/opinion/public-private-sexfor-
sale.html?scp=5&sq=Anna%20Quindlen%20Nov.%2026.%201994%
20column&st=cse
Rogers, Brian 2010 "HPD Vice Officer Accused of Record Tampering." The Houston Chronicle
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 22
3/1/10. Available online at:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6892173.html
Rohrlich, Ted 1984 "Deputy Charged with Rape at Courthouse." LA Times 3/14/84
Salazar, Denise and Greg Hardesty 2010 “Police Chief: ‘Morale Low’ After Officer Charged in
Rape.” The Orange County Register 4/09/10. Available online at:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/police-243352-orban-waller.html
Scolforo, Mark 2009 "Prostitution Case Tossed Over Government-Funded Sex." The Gettysburg Times
11/6/09 Available online at http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=9017803
Slobogin, Christopher 2009 “Testilying: Police Perjury and What to Do About It.” University of
Colorado Law Review Fall 67: 1037-1060.
Stossel, John 2010 "Should Black Market Industries Be Legal?" 3/3/10. Available online at:
http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/m/29289905/john-stossel-on-legalizing-prostitution.htm
Strickler, Laura 2009 "CBS Finds More Rape Kits Still Untested: San Diego Has Over 2,000
Kits." Available online at:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/02/cbsnews_investigates/main5864505.shtml
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=clnk&gl=us
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B-3.
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Wong, Dean 1993 "Victim's Parents Assail Douglas' Release." The Boston Globe 6/5/93.
1 7 Arrested In Prostitution Bust Modesto Bee Staff Reports 4/3/10
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 23
Seven women were arrested Thursday night on suspicion of intending to commit prostitution at
a South Ninth Street motel, authorities said. Given a relatively slow night, a few Stanislaus County
Sheriff's deputies decided to "put a dent" into the area's prostitution problem, according to Lt. Charles
Grom. Deputies converged at the California Inn, 1130 S. Ninth St.
There, they watched as various women flagged down cars. As soon as one of the women got a
customer, an officer would alert another deputy who would watch the two enter a motel room. Less
than two minutes later, they would knock on the door and arrest the woman, Grom said. Since the
arrest came before anything was consummated, Grom said, the women were charged with loitering
with the intent to commit prostitution, a misdemeanor. Grom said taking that approach, instead of
waiting for the act that would lead to prostitution charges, was less time-consuming and complicated.
"This was a spur of the moment thing by our deputies," he said. "We're making it known that this type
of activity is not welcome and if you're going to do something, do it somewhere else." The men were
not cited but were encouraged to "go home and not come back."
2 3/16/10 NY Daily News by John Marzulli “2 COPS WHO KILLED FOR MAFIA: FEDS SAY RETIRED
DETECTIVE PALS ARE LINKED TO AT LEAST 8 MURDERS”
9/26/07 CBS 2 “CHICAGO COP ARRESTED CHARGED WITH MURDER-FOR-HIRE FEDS: OFFICER
PLOTTING TO KILL POTENTIAL WITNESS AGAINST HIM”
3/5/10 NY Daily News 2 NYPD POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED IN $1M NJ PERFUME HEIST
3 10/11/06 New York Sun “Police Officer Is Charged With Sexually Abusing Stepdaughter”
4 9/30/1990 San Diego Union
5 5/19/90 LA Times Lois Timnick “COURT TOLD OF HELP MADAM GAVE POLICE”
6 1979 Associated Press- Spokane, WA PROSTITUTION INVESTIGATORS MAY HAVE SEX ‘Police agents
may engage in sex to carry out prostitution investigations as long as they don’t try to trap anyone into
the crime, a Spokane County District Court Judge has ruled. Judge Daniel Maggs said “It may violate
public morals but personal beliefs can’t be substituted for the law.”’
5/6/09 Beaumont Texas BEAUMONT POLICE OFFICER WHO HAD SEX WITH PROSTITUTE REINSTATED
1/25/05 ASSOCIATED PRESS: UNDERCOVER COPS CAN GO NAKED NOW ON PROSTITUTION STINGS “A
Harris County prosecutor says Houston police are now allowed to undress as part of prostitution
investigations. Some hookers demand johns take off all their clothes before negotiating a price. They
mistakenly believe a real cop won't get naked. Prosecutor Ted Wilson says some plainclothes officers
were without their clothes during a four-month sting operation. The investigation ended in November
with 56 arrests.”
2/13/06 Washington Post By Tom Jackman “SPOTSYLVANIA DEPUTIES RECEIVE SEX SERVICES IN
PROSTITUTION CASEs”
7 11/6/09 Gettysburg Times PA. BY Mark Scolforo (AP) – “PROSTITUTION CASE TOSSED OVER GOV'TFUNDED
SEX” HARRISBURG, Pa. — An appeals court has ruled Pennsylvania State Police botched a
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 24
prostitution investigation in which troopers gave an informant money to pay for sex four times at a
massage parlor, along with a total of $180 for the man's trouble.
02/02/05 Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -“TENN. PROSECUTOR PROBES POLICE TACTICS” “
8 Legally defined as money or other consideration, which includes dinner, drinks or even mowing
someone’s lawn.
9 Freeman V. California 1984- the judge ruled that it may be prostitution but the first amendment
protected the same activity when it was being filmed for the sexual gratification of a third party who
was not present during filming.
10 California Penal Code 653.24. (a) it is unlawful for any person to loiter in, on, or near any public
place with the intent to commit prostitution. (b) "Public place" means an area open to the public, or an
alley, plaza, park, driveway, or parking lot, or an automobile, whether moving or not...
11 3/19/10 ABUSE CLAIMS IN POPE'S EX-DIOCESE ‘Pope Benedict XVI's former diocese in Germany is
facing daily allegations of physical and sexual abuse, the head of its new sex-abuse task force says.’
3/15/10 The National Post- by Araminta Wordsworth “But what staggers me is once again the
immediate, visceral circling of the wagons — when what is being revealed — again! — is a pattern of
criminal abuse, aided and abetted by a powerful elite, led by the Pope himself. If this were a secular
institution, the police would move in and shut it down.”
12 3/19/10 LA Times “OREGON LAWSUIT CLAIMS BOY SCOUTS SEX ABUSE COVERUP”
3/19/10 News Wire Services “SECRET BOY SCOUT 'PERVERSION FILES' MAY BLOW LID OFF DECADES OF
SEX ABUSE OF YOUNG BOYS” PORTLAND, Ore. ‘Six boxes of evidence could blow the lid off decades of
hidden sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America...’
13 3/13/96 LA TIMES by Joseph D. MacNamara “ARE THE UNITED STATES' POLICE OFFICERS A BUNCH OF
CONGENITAL LIARS?” "WHY COPS LIE ABOUT DRUG EVIDENCE" “Not many people took defense attorney
Alan M. Dershowitz seriously when he charged that Los Angeles cops are taught to lie at the birth of
their careers at the Police Academy. But as someone who spent 35 years wearing a police uniform, I've
come to believe that hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every
year testifying about drug arrests. These are not cops who take bribes or commit other crimes. Other
than routinely lying, they are law-abiding and dedicated. They don't feel lying under oath is wrong
because politicians tell them they are engaged in a ``holy war'' fighting evil.” And when it comes to
prostitution, the cops feel that they are “protecting women and children from exploitation and
trafficking. So of course it is okay to falsify an arrest report... right? [Joseph MacNamara was a police
officer and also the Chief of Police in San Jose, CA]
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 25
14 11/30/09 NY Daily News by John Marzulli “JUDGE JACK WEINSTEIN RIPS NYPD ON FALSE ARRESTS..
1/29/09 Wall Street Journal by Amir Efrati ‘LEGAL SYSTEM STRUGGLES WITH HOW TO REACT WHEN
POLICE OFFICERS LIE’ "It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges
that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers, though it's difficult to detect in specific
cases,” said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the 1990s.
12/1/1998 Testimony of Alan M. Dershowitz before the House of Representatives Judiciary
Committee. And even more cops perjure themselves on prostitution arrest reports. Most prostitutes do
not go to trial as the prosecutors threaten to give the prostitute a much longer sentence if he/she dares to
request a trial. If the prostitute has children, they threaten to have Social Services take them away. So
prostitutes are usually offered a probation sentence, not realizing that once they are on probation, the
cops can bust them for ‘possessing the intent to commit prostitution’ and send them straight to jail
without a trial. And given the amount of reportilying done by police everywhere, it doesn’t really take
an actual violation of law on the part of the prostitute to end up in jail.
157/31/09 Boston Globe By Dick Lehr “A NEW ‘BRIGHT LINE RULE’ AGAINST LYING”
16 Fall 1996 University of Colorado Law Review by Christopher Slobogin ‘REFORM THE POLICETESTILYING:
POLICE PERJURY AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT’
17 Alston (n 26)
18 3/1/10 Houston Chronicle by Brian Rogers ‘HPD VICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF RECORD TAMPERING’
19 8/6/09 CBS News HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) POLICE CAMERAS DON'T LIE, BUT DID FLA. COPS?
Veteran Hollywood Police Officer Dewey Pressley said he hated lying. But if bending the truth a little
would keep a fellow officer out of trouble, well, he was all for it. A dashboard police camera video that
surfaced recently showed Pressley chuckling as he wrote a fake police report, calling his creativity "a
little Walt Disney" so another officer wouldn't get in trouble for rear-ending a 23-year-old woman's
car in February.
12/1/1998 Testimony of Alan M. Dershowitz before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
“I represented, on appeal, a lawyer accused of corruption. The major witness against him was a
policeman who acknowledged at trial that he himself had committed three crimes while serving as a
police officer. He denied that he had committed more than these three crimes. It was subsequently
learned that he had, in fact, committed hundreds of additional crimes, including some he specifically
denied under oath. He too was never prosecuted for perjury, because a young Assistant U.S. Attorney,
named Rudolph Giuliani, led a campaign against prosecuting this admitted perjurer. Shortly
afterward, the policeman explained: ‘Cops are almost taught how to commit perjury when they are in
the Police Academy. Perjury to a policeman- and to a lawyer, by the way - is not a big deal. Whether
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 26
they are giving out speeding tickets or parking tickets, they're almost always lying...’ [And you can be
certain when they are arresting prostitutes, they are lying too!] Nor is the evidence of police perjury
merely anecdotal. Numerous commission reports have found rampant abuses in police departments
throughout the country. All objective reports point to a pervasive problem of police lying, and
tolerance of the lying by prosecutors and judges...”
4/22/94 New York Times by Joe Sexton “New York City police officers often make false arrests,
tamper with evidence and commit perjury on the witness stand, according to a draft report of the
mayoral commission investigating police corruption. The practice — by officers either legitimately
interested in clearing the streets of criminals or simply eager to inflate statistics — has at times been
condoned by superiors, the report says. And it is prevalent enough in the department that it has its own
nickname: ‘testilying.’ ‘Perjury is perhaps the most widespread form of police wrongdoing facing
today's criminal justice system,’ the draft report says.”
1999 St. John's University School of Law by Larry Cunningham: ‘TAKING ON TESTILYING: THE
PROSECUTOR'S RESPONSE TO IN-COURT POLICE DECEPTION’ Criminal Justice Ethics, Vol. 18, p. 26,
1999 “When an officer is deceptive in court, he is ‘not quite lying’ but ‘not quite testifying truthfully
either. ‘Testilying’ is seen as a middle ground between pure honesty and pure dishonesty... This alleged
‘ethical middle ground’ is perhaps the best evidence of the ethical problems with testilying. Officers
invented a word in part to avoid acknowledging that testilying sometimes involved committing perjury
and other illegal acts. The fact that they do not call their actions perjury or deception or some other
term with clearly unethical implications evinces their belief that testilying- whatever form, illegal or
legal- is somehow justified.” The same goes for reportilying, which as I mention elsewhere, is all that a
vice cop usually has to do to force a suspected prostitute to accept a plea deal from the prosecution.
20 Fox News, Philadelphia PA Sharon Crowley reporter (as quoted in a March 2010 John Stossel report
on Fox Business News)
21 Perhaps those who support such a solution for saving the lives of prostitutes would also support the
idea of cops arresting victims of domestic violence and keeping them in jail, so those women might not
end up dead either, like Scott Peterson’s pregnant wife Laci in 2002, or like Bolingbrook Illinois Police
Officer Drew Peterson’s ex wife Kathleen Savio and wife Stacy, whose body has yet to be found. If
only the cops could have put those wives in jail to protect them from their abusive spouses, they might
still be alive today! But when the husband who kills his wife is a cop, who is left to protect them for
their own good? 11/2007 See BLUE BADGE of MURDER: DISTURBING AMERICAN TREND; POLICE
OFFICERS KILLING THEIR WIVES ON THE RISE; “MISSING AND MURDERED COP’S WIVES...” By Marc
Chamot http://marcchamot.blogspot.com/2007/11/disturbing-american-trend-police.html
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 27
3/21/10 WNEP Moosic, Pa By Renie Workman “DEADLY SHOOTING IN SUNBURY” A Sunbury police
officer has died after a shooting early Saturday morning in Northumberland County that also killed his
wife. Investigators believe the shooting was a result of a domestic dispute between the two... State
police said 38-year-old Robin Miller died Saturday in their home on Catawissa Avenue and 37-yearold
Michael Miller was taken to Geisinger Medical Center with critical inuries. Officials at the
hospital said he passed away early Sunday morning, a little more than 24-hours after the shootings.
22 6/4/1993 Boston Herald by Eric Fehrnstrom and Joe Heaney “DOUGLAS RELEASE SPARKS OUTRAGE”
23 4/24/86 LA Times by Mark Arax “JUDGE SAYS LAW DOESN’T PROTECT PROSTITUTES, DROPS RAPE
COUNT” “Pasadena Superior Court Judge Gilbert C. Alston granted his own motion last week for a
find of not guilty in the case against Daniel Zabuski, 25, of Alhambra, a former South Gate police
jailer. In granting the motion, court transcripts show, Alston made a general statement that a working
prostitute could not be the victim of rape, even is she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse.”
24 3/14/1984 LA Times by Ted Rohrlich “DEPUTY CHARGED WITH RAPE AT COURTHOUSE”
25 http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/factsheet.html Prostitution is: a) sexual harassment b) rape
c) battering d) verbal abuse e) domestic violence f) a racist practice g) a violation of human
rights h) childhood sexual abuse i) a consequence of male domination of women j) a means of
maintaining male domination of women k) all of the above
26 2/1/91 NY Newsday
2/11/05 Courant Staff Writer (Hartford Connecticut) by Tina Brown “A federal judge ruled that a jury
should decide if the city of Hartford and former Police Chief Joseph Croughwell can be held liable in a
civil suit that claims a lack of supervision in the late 1990s created and condoned an environment that
allowed cops to sexually assault prostitutes without fear of discipline, court papers say.
But U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas said in federal court papers that several former supervisors in
the department could not be held personally liable in the suit, filed by a former drug-addicted
prostitute, because they were not the direct supervisors of the two officers Salvatore Abateillo and
Jesus Rivera -who were convicted of sexual misconduct in the criminal case. Nevas also ruled that
Abateillo and Rivera will join Croughwell as defendants in the civil trial.
In a strongly worded decision, Nevas said, ‘Chief Croughwell had ultimate supervisory authority over
every officer under his command. Nevertheless, during his watch, at least five department officers were
prosecuted and convicted of sexually assaulting city prostitutes.’”
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 28
27 1/18/95 LA Times “LONG BEACH OFFICER GETS PROBATION IN SEX CASE” (original news article in
the LA Times in May, 1994, “OFFICER TO STAND TRIAL IN RAPE OF PROSTITUTE”) “A Long Beach
police officer who admitted to forcing a prostitute to have sex with him in his patrol car was sentenced
Tuesday to five years probation... Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Ellsberry to the
maximum term of four years in prison...” It is NOT mandatory to send a convicted rapist to prison,
even though it is a cop who did the raping, while it is mandatory to send a convicted panderer to prison
for three to nine years even if none of the prostitutes were ever raped or were ever in jeopardy of being
raped (except by vice cops who might force the victims to give them a blow job or go to jail...). This is
an interesting way to protect prostitutes from ‘exploitation’ and potential harm!
28 2008 IN THE WINDY CITY, PROSTITUTES SLEEP WITH POLICE MORE OFTEN THAN GET ARRESTED BY
THEM by Carolyn O'Hara reviewing the Freakonomics book “It is estimated that roughly 3 percent of
all tricks performed by prostitutes who aren't working with pimps are freebies given to police to avoid
arrest. In fact, prostitutes get officially arrested only once per 450 tricks or so, leading the authors to
conclude that "a prostitute is more likely to have sex with a police officer than to get officially arrested
by one." When freebies given to gang members are factored in, about one in 20 tricks go solely for
protection and the "privilege" of plying their trade.....” from ‘An Empirical Analysis of Street-Level
Prostitution’ by Steven D. Levitt and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh September 2007
29 http://crca.ucsd.edu/~esisco/info/nhi_article.html
30 6/85 San Diego Tribune by Vicki Torres “SLAIN WOMAN LINKED TO POLICE SEX CASE” “A woman
found 11 days ago beaten and strangled near Sunrise Highway in Pine Valley has been identified as
Donna Marie Gentile, a convicted prostitute whose involvement with two San Diego police officers
resulted in the demotion of one and the firing of another...” Gentile was the second victim in the string
of prostitute murders, which ultimately numbered over 45. A street sex worker and police informant,
Gentile was found strangled to death, her mouth stuffed with gravel, a month after she testified against
two police officers.
Donna’s death and the murder of 45 other prostitutes from 1985 to 1992 became a rallying point for a
number of San Diego artists, who were horrified to learn that the police consider homicides of
prostitutes to be ‘NHIs’ - an unofficial police term meaning ‘No Humans Involved.’
http://crca.ucsd.edu/~esisco/info/nhi_article.html To have those who are supposed to protect
prostitutes categorize prostitute murders as NHIs does not render as credible LA Prosecutor Alan
Carter’s concern for Heidi’s girls! Unfortunately the use of the term ‘NHI’ is not limited to San Diego
cops. It is used by cops nationwide to denote the homicides of ‘disposable people.’
31 9/16/82 LA Times by William Farr “PROSTITUTE, KEY WITNESS IN LAPD SCANDAL, SLAIN” “A
prostitute who was to be a key witness in the investigation of the burglary and sex scandals plaguing
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 29
the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division has been murdered, The Times learned
Wednesday. Sandra Bowers, 26, was found Sunday night ...with her throat slashed and a dozen stab
wounds in her back. She is the second witness in the ongoing investigation to die violently. Jack Myers,
the first policeman to be caught in the burglary scandal and the first to incriminate fellow officers, was
killed May 12 when he somehow lost control of his pickup truck and was hurled out of the vehicle,
landing on his head in the middle of the Simi Valley Freeway...”
32 That’s counting the 50 days in solitary confinement to be studied to see if I was dangerous to
society, the 2 years and 7 months on probation with no violations, the 18 months in prison and another
18 months on parole.
33 8/2/84 San Francisco Chronicle by Robert Popp “NO INDICTMENTS DUE IN S.F. COPS’ SEX PARTY”
But in 1985, the Los Angeles District Attorney appealed my probation sentence because “in terms of
impact on the victim, whereas a robbery may have a traumatic effect on the victim lasting weeks or
months pandering can lead its victim to a lifetime of shame and degradation, robbing her of her bodily
integrity, personal privacy, self respect and reputation. Whereas rape is accomplished by one act of
force, pandering can cause a woman to be pressured into an endless series of acts of indiscriminate
sexual intercourse which progressively rape her spirit, character and self image... it is clearly a vicious
practice.” Unless the cops or the FBI are doing the pandering? And if the prostitutes are indeed the
victims, what are we to make of the 1995 Florida legislation that allows the prosecutors to fight
prostitution by charging ‘suspected prostitutes’ with racketeering and then face up to 30 years in
prison? Their clients are not charged, and in fact, can get out of testifying in court against the women
they hired by giving sworn statements to the cops. Palm Beach County authorities say that the 20
unidentified ‘johns’ who were not charged with a crime, ‘may stay anonymous’ as long as they
volunteer as good citizens to assist police and prosecutors in convicting the ‘suspected prostitutes.’
8/19/95 Palm Beach Post by Tim Pallensen “POLICE HAVE NEW TOOL FOR BATTLING PROSTITUTION”
34 3/20/10 http://www.timesnewsline.com/news/CAMDEN-POLICE-CORRUPTION-SCANDAL-UNRAVELED-
-185-Drug-Cases-Dropped-1269081864/
35 4/09/10 Orange County Register by Denisse Salazar and Greg Hardesty “Police Chief: ‘morale low’
after officer charged in rape”
36 11/5/1984 LA Times AP “JUDGE PUT ON PROBATION, FINED FOR SEX INCIDENT”
37 The Poppy Project's (2008) report on indoor prostitution in London states: “On a fundamental level,
prostitution is an absolute expression of men’s power against women’s subordination and lack of
choices. Paying for prostitution services enables men to assert power and control over women in a way
which would be deemed unacceptable in any other sphere” (p. 8)
The Consequences of Arbitrary Enforcement of Prostitution Laws 30
38 As widespread as domestic violence and spousal abuse are, should we criminalize marriage to protect
women from husbands who may abuse them? Should we arrest husbands who haven’t abused their
wives, just in case they might someday?
39 3/24/10 The Star By DAVID KLEPPER “Kansas ponders adding prostitutes' customers to sex
offender list A bill passed by the Kansas House on Wednesday would land people convicted of hiring a
prostitute on the state’s sex offender list for 10 years. Many states, including Kansas, already require
sex offender registration for those soliciting minors. Some states, such as California, give judges the
discretion to require registration in solicitation cases. But adding solicitation to the crimes requiring
offender registration would be a significant expansion of the offender registry, critics said.”
40 3/20/10 ASSOCIATED PRESS EVIDENCE FOUND ROTTING IN CLOSED ILL. POLICE HQ. ‘A sheriff's
department in suburban Chicago has been shocked to find a roomful of evidence left behind by a
village police department that shut down two years ago -- including a moldy sexual assault kit that
authorities said linked a man to the 2006 rape of a 13-year-old girl, nearly 200 guns and hundreds of
bags of narcotics... In all, seven rape kits had been left rotting in an unplugged refrigerator in the
former Ford Heights Police Department, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. "You're not talking about
ineptness, neglect, you're talking about outrageous conduct of a police department that didn't care
about the residents out there," Dart said.’
41 CBS News online As of December 2009, Los Angeles had a backlog of 12,000 untested rape kits in
storage. San Diego Has Over 2,000 Untested Kits “We can only do so much with the resources we
have.” -Greg Matheson, Los Angeles Police Department Criminalistics Lab director, City of Los
Angeles crime laboratory
42In 2003, a prostitution sting called “Operation Silver Bullet” was conducted, which was, according to
the LA Daily News “one of LAPD’s largest prostitution stings in several years. Vice Detectives fanned
out across the San Fernando Valley and simultaneously raided seven suspected prostitution dens
fronting as legitimate businesses.” And the LAPD proudly reported that “approximately 100 officers
took part in Operation Silver Bullet, netting 14 arrests... which were all for solicitation, operating a
house of prostitution and residing in a house of prostitution...” Anyone who can do the math can figure
out that if it took 100 officers to bust 14 ‘suspected victims,’ that’s 7 cops per hooker/victim. The cops
were later given an awards banquet to honor them for their heroic work in making these dangerous
arrests...

 Guest columnist, veteran prostitution rights activist Norma Jean Almodovar, author of Cop To Call Girl, founder and president of the International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture and Education and executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of COYOTE .    Now without further ado, I turn this space over to Norma Jean.

Just as they did a year ago with Craigslist, a bunch of politically grandstanding States Attorneys General- cheered on by an overbearing, vociferous gaggle of anti- prostitution zealots and their sycophants from the far left and the far right-  got together andwrote a letter to the ownersof Backpage.com, demanding that the adult ads on their classified website be shut down “to stop sex trafficking.”  Despite the fact that they don’t have a constitutional leg to stand on, these blowhards decided they must force the closure of the adult ads section in this and any other online adult ad classified advertising site.

Although there are numerous other sites which cater solely to the adult crowd seeking other adults for adult activity, such as RentBoy- where virulently anti- gay Christian Psychologist Reverend George Rekers found his young stud travel companion on a trip to Italy- and countless other similar sites, it does not appear that these Attorneys General have much interest in pursuing those sites because many are for gay commercial sex and it is not politically correct to prosecute gays for the same ‘crimes’ they prosecute heterosexual adults.  Governments and religious institutions throughout history have attempted to eradicate what many call a scourge (but many others like me feel it is the best job we ever had), but none have been successful even when the punishment faced by those who violate the law is death.  So what motivates these particular politicians to attempt to “eliminate” all prostitution at whatever cost?

There are a number of studies which support the premise that the more vocal one is in denouncing another’s ‘immoral’ activities and demanding that they cease, the more likely it is that such a loudmouth is engaged in the very activity that he/she condemns.  It is a cliché that sanctimonious politicians pontificate on the importance of family values while having extra-marital affairs, buying the services of a prostitute (underage and adult) or sending text messages to persons who are not their spouses; the vehemently anti-gay politicians and preachers who secretly engage in homosexual relationships.  When it is a female politician, look for her husband to be a client of prostitutes, like U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D. Michigan).

Considering the enormous pressure being exerted on Backpage -and Craigslist a year ago- if one were cynical, one might think that those who are the most vocal in their demands to shut down adult ads because of the possibility that those ads are for prostitution- are being blackmailed or extorted by those abolitionists.  Consider that Eliot Spitzer, who, as New York’s State Attorney General, passionately denounced the evils of prostitution as he vigorously enforced laws against prostitution by day and paid for his ‘sex slaves’ by night… in some cases going out of state and violating the Mann Act, a federal crime called ‘sex trafficking’.  Spitzer rose to governorship on the back of political reform and cleaning up corruption.  According to many sources, his was a ‘scorched earth’ policy when it came to prosecuting white collar crimes.  One target of his wrath were ‘prostitution rings’  against which he had publicly vented with “revulsion and anger announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a select prostitution ring” in 2004.  He dispatched his brand of justice in short order and sent them to prison.  In hindsight one could speculate that his show of revulsion and anger came not from a sense of moral repugnance at the thought of paid sex professionals but that the ‘select prostitution ring’ he targeted had perhaps been too selective and refused his business in the past? Or did he feel a sense of pride at being able to prosecute the competition of those who did provide him with their sexual services?

Or perhaps the abolitionists knew of Spitzer’s indiscretions and used that information to extort him to be aggressive in prosecuting others who engaged in buying or selling sex?  There is no doubt in my mind that if he had not been caught with his pants down, he would be joining the other politicians in their strident crusade to shut down adult ads.  So it is not unreasonable to suggest that perhaps some or many of the signers of this letter are in a similar position.  History – both distant and recent- suggests that this may be the case…

In July 2011, a high ranking Albuquerque Criminal Judge, Pat Murdoch, was arrested for raping a prostitute.  It was not the first time he had hired a sex worker, because the prostitute he hired admitted to previous engagements with the judge.  And surely the police were aware of his activities with prostitutes, which may explain why, in 2009, he was so lenient toward an Albuquerque Police Officer -David Maes– who was also charged with raping a prostitute.  Thoughtfully, after Maes plead ‘no contest’ to the charges, District Court Judge Pat Murdoch said “sending him to prison would be a harsh sentence for an ex-cop” and gave him 5 years probation.  After Judge Murdoch was charged with raping a prostitute, he resigned, and most likely none of his colleague judges will impose a prison sentence on him, knowing that when and if they ever get caught doing the same thing, they will want leniency from the judges who oversee their cases.

Judges like Federal Judge Jack Camp… or Judge Michael Hecht... or Edward Nottingham, the chief federal judge in Denver, Colorado.  Despite the fact that an ordinary citizen charged with violating the same laws that Reagan appointee Judge Jack Camp did would have been sentenced to multiple years- perhaps decades- in prison, Judge Camp was allowed to retire at full pension, sentenced to 30 days in prison and 400 hours of community service.  He served 15 days.

Back to the States Attorneys General- are they pursuing this because they are being extorted by the prohibitionists or because they really believe that shutting down adult ads is going to somehow stop human trafficking?  Surely they are not that naïve, are they?  Having been lawyers before they became prosecutors, they know exactly how things work and that prostitution was around long before the internet and will be around long after the internet shuts the sex workers out (or moves them to other websites).

They feign concern for the sexual exploitation of underage persons through the use of adult ads, commenting that “More than 50 cases of trafficking or attempted trafficking of minors on Backpage.com have been filed in 22 states in the past three years…”  But none of them mention that in 2011 alone, more than 100 cases of pedophile and child porn possessing police/ district attorneys/ judges were brought to court... NONE of those cases involved Backpage or Craigslist or any other classified website offering adult ads – just a bunch of perverted cops, judges, FBI agents etc. who had access to these young people because they are persons in authority whom no one suspects of diddling their children.  These numbers do not include the teachers, preacherspriests, boy scout leadersHollywood producers and other persons who are trusted by the community and who do not find their victims on Backpage.  The US Government reports that 90% of the cases of child sexual exploitation are at the hands of someone the child knows, like the above cops, teachers, etc. and 68% of the cases of child sexual abuse are at the hands of a family member.  So if, as the prohibitionists and their misinformed spokespeople suggest, there are between ‘100,000 to 300,000’ children trafficked into the sex trade every year, and if that represents only ten percent of the victims of child sexual exploitation from strangers, then the number of those sexually exploited by an acquaintance or family member must be in the millions per year.  As I mentioned earlier, however, the US Government’s own report says that these hundreds of thousands of human trafficking (which includes adults and those trafficked into many other areas of labor) can’t be found, with all the millions of dollars that they spend and all the government funded agencies looking for them.

Tragically, as many cases as there are of the victims mentioned above, there is an even greater number of underage persons who are subjected to rape and sexual exploitation by persons in authority, and the government is quite aware of it and yet does little to prevent it.  In fact, those juveniles are deliberately put in harms’ way at the insistence of the rabid prohibitions who claim they are ‘saving their lives.’  No doubt when the media reports that the FBI or other government agencies have ‘rescued’ dozens of ‘victims of child sexual trafficking’ during a sting operation (and arrest hundreds of adult prostitutes in the process), the general public envisions a militaristic style raid much like our armed forces conduct when they storm into an occupied country and free the enslaved citizens, who then jubilantly rally around our heroic soldiers with cries of gratitude.  Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth for the underage victims of sex trafficking.  What the media and the government do not tell you is that ‘rescued’ means ‘arrested.’

When the cops and the feds – and for that matter, government agents anywhere in the world- conduct a ‘rescue’ raid, all persons of any age who are suspected of being prostitutes or of being ‘victims of sex trafficking’ are rounded up and herded into custody.  Handcuffed.  Chained to each other.  Put into jail cells.  Strip-searched.  Treated like vicious criminals.  And that is as it should be, according to some wonderfulChristian ladies of the Georgia Eagle Forum, or as I like to call their national group- the “Spread Eagle Forum.”  Women like Sue Ella Deadwyler, publisher of Georgia Insight, who stated – in opposition to the Republican Georgia state senator Renee Unterman who introduced a bill that would steer girls under the age of 16 into diversionary programs instead of arresting them as prostitutes – “Arrest is a valuable life-saving tool that must be usedWe need to hire more cops to arrest the prostitutes.”  She said that she believes that arrestis a better deterrent than a proposal for rehabilitation — no matter the age.  “Sure there are those who are forced into prostitution, but I think most of them volunteer,” Deadwyler said of under 16-year-old prostitutes.  “Many, many children have been scared straight because of arrest.”  Of course.

One of her colleagues argues, “We cannot repeal the prostitution law for children, because that law acts as a very real barrier that protects children from sexual predators that would, otherwise, feel free to lure them into prostitution….Have we forgotten that correction oftentimes turns a life around?”

They aren’t the only ones who believe that arresting victims is actually good for them.  Newser Staff writer Evann Gastaldo, wrote in her  March 4th, 2011 article: “Why We Must Arrest Child Prostitutes:  IT MAY SOUND CRUEL, BUT IT COULD BE THE ONLY THING THAT SAVES THEM.  Says she “Decriminalizing child prostitution (and not arresting them) means effectively ‘removing the only safe and secure protection these vulnerable children have from the pimps—being arrested and placed under the protective custody of law enforcement.’” And after one major ‘rescue’ of such victims, the Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, stated“We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence.”

Umm, I wonder if either he or those nice Christian ladies or the States Attorneys General who are demanding the shutdown of adult ads on Backpage.com have read the US Government Justice Department’s own report on what happens to those children (and adult prostitutes) who are ‘placed under the protective custody of law enforcement…’- the report entitled “Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09”?

As the May 5th, 2011 issue of the Economist states“Sexual abuse in prison is distressingly common: the Justice Department estimated that more than 217,000 prisoners, including at least 17,000 juveniles, were raped or sexually abused in America in 2008.  A total of 12% of juvenile detainees… surveyed between 2008 and 2009 reported being forced into sex.  And that is the number of people, not incidents; most victims are abused more than once.  More inmates reported being abused by staff than by other inmates.”  So we arrest the victims and put them in jail where they are raped by those who are supposedly protecting them from sexual predators... like themselves.  And this of course will ‘turn their lives around’… actually it probably will; if this doesn’t mess up their heads and screw up their lives forever.  After the well-meaning Christian ladies and legislators tell them that it is for their own good to experience the trauma of being arrested and going to jail where they are raped by government agents in whose custody they are supposed to be safe, well, they would have to have an extremely strong character to survive the ‘rescue’ envisioned by these moral zealots.

Sex Trafficking Victims, Victims of Sex Trafficking, Sex Slavery Victims, Human Trafficking Victims

There is a lot of controversy over the topics of sex trafficking, sex slavery, human trafficking and forced prostitution. Regarding what the definition is, the research methods used to find statistics,  what the definition of a victim is,  the number of child and adult victims involved,  forced vs. unforced sex, how the actual prostitutes themselves feel about it, and legal vs. illegal prostitution.

It is very difficult to become a Sex Trafficking Victim, against someone’s will. 

Prostitutes work in the sex business of their own free will. 

It is not easy for criminals to engage in this acitvity:

Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe.  It is very difficult to kidnap and force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police.  They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met.  They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well.  They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the kidnapped missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police. This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one.  Kidnapping itself is a serious crime.  There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc.   If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years.

The numbers and scale of this crime is exaggerated. The very nature of someone pulling off a kidnapping and forced sex for profit appears to be very difficult. Since it would be difficult this makes this crime rare. Not impossible, but extremely rare.

A key point is that on the sidelines the prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution.   But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves.  Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.

Many women in the sex business are independent workers.  They don’t have a pimp.

They work for themselves, advertise themselves, and keep all the money for themselves.   No one forces them, because there isn’t anyone to force them. They go out and find their own customers, set their own prices, and arrange everything by themselves.  Sometimes they may employ others to help them, but these are not pimps.  If for example, she hires an internet web design company to make a website for her, does that make the web design company a pimp? If she pays a phone company for a phone to do business, does this make the phone company a pimp? If she puts an ad in the paper, does this make the editor a pimp?  If she puts the money she makes into a bank account does this make the bank a pimp?

A lot of anti prostitution groups would say yes. Everyone and everybody is a pimp.

These groups make up lies, and false statistics that no one bothers to check.  A big reason they do this is because it provides high paying jobs for them.  They get big donations, and grants from the government, charity, churches, etc.  to have these groups, and pay these high salaries of the anti prostitution workers.

There is a growing number of well respected researchers, journalists, scientists, professors, that have concluded in their research that the sex trafficking, sex slavery concept is based on emotion, morals, and monetary funding rather than facts, evidence and proof.   They state that very few kidnapped, forced against their will, physically abused, raped sex slave prostitutes for profit have been found throughout the world. Their research concludes that women who enter into this type of work do so of their own free will.   They also state that there are many anti-prostitution groups who simply do not like the idea of consensual adult prostitution and have distorted the facts in order to push their agenda and receive funding and money into their organizations in the form of donations,  grants and to change the laws about prostitution.  They state that these anti-prostitution groups use made up child sex trafficking statistics which they have no proof or evidence of in order to gain public acceptance for their cause.

Women who travel of their own free will to engage in sex work for money, normally do not tell their families, friends, relatives the real reason they are traveling.  They usually tell the people in their lives back home that they are traveling to engage in legitimate work such as working in a restaurant, hotel, etc.   They do this because they do not want to be thought of as a slut, whore etc.  in their home town. These women would never think of working as a prostitute in their home town where they know a lot of people and would bring disgrace on their family. 

Many anti-prostitution groups distort the facts about this saying that these women were tricked into it against their will expecting to work in a legitimate business.   This is not correct. The women knew about the sex work, but do not want the people in their lives back home to know about it, since it is considered very bad to be thought of as a whore, slut, etc. and would bring disgrace to their family. 

Millions of USA government dollars are being spent to fight a crime that is extremely rare. The US government assumes that all prostitutes on Earth are sex trafficked slaves – Who are kidnapped and forced into having sex against their will.  This is NOT true of MOST Prostitution.

The numbers of sex trafficking sex slaves:

There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows.  There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government,  The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high.  They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it.  Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves.  Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.

Sex Trafficking in Sports Events:

Super Bowl 2011:

According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????????????

It was all a big lie told by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, government officials, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale, Change-org, A Future Not A Past, Polaris Project, Salvation Army, Women’s Funding Network, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation,  which are anti-prostitution groups that tell lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries, and get huge amounts of money into their organizations.

As proved in the link below:
Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:

“Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.

“In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/local/20110302-top-fbi-agent-in-dallas-praises-super-bowl-security-effort-sees-no-evidence-of-expected-spike-in-child-sex-trafficking.ece

This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.

Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.

The idea of people getting the wrong information and believing lies, is bad. No matter what the topic is. The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today. It is amazing to me how people will believe such lies so easily. The media is to blame for this. I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest anti-prostitution groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations. If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it. You will be very surprised.
Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the millions of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.

These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies. This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

I would like to see a news organization do a full report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves.  The articles about the super bowl sex slaves, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.

== World Cup 2006 ==

Politicians, religious and aid groups,   still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. A baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added: “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.”  Which has been proven by the German police to be completely false.  Yet people still talk about these false numbers as if it were fact.

==World Cup 2010 ==
Again using the made up number of 40,000 prostitutes trafficked:

The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March it was feared that up to 40,000 extra prostitutes could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand. Bayever, deputy chairperson of South Africa’s Central Drug Authority (CDA) that advises on drug abuse but also works with prostitutes, warned: “Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained.”

But the tournament in 2010, if anything, has seen the modern-day soccer fan attracted to art galleries and museums over brothels.

A trend that has seen a drop in revenue across the board for the prostitution industry, which is illegal in South Africa. “Zobwa,” the chairperson of Sisonke — an action group representing around 70 street prostitutes in Johannesburg — said business had been down over the last month. “The World Cup has been devastating. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it’s chased a lot of the business away. It’s been the worst month in my company’s history,” the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive escort companies told CNN.

In recent years, every time there has been a major international sporting event, a group of government officials, campaigning feminists, pliant journalists and NGOs have claimed that the movement of thousands of men to strange foreign countries where there will be lots of alcohol and horniness will result in the enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Obviously. And every time they have simply doubled the made-up scare figures from the last international sporting event, to make it look like this problem of sport/sex/slavery gets worse year on year.  Yet each year it is proved false.

This myth tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in. These anti-prostitution groups need to in invent a victim that does not exist in order to get press attention.

Below are the few brave souls in the media who told the truth about super bowl sex trafficking:

Sex Trafficking in Sports Events links:

Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:

http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/super-bowl/Super-Bowl-prostitution-prediction-has-no-proof–114983179.html

Dallas newspaper:

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-01-27/news/the-super-bowl-prostitute-myth-100-000-hookers-won-t-be-showing-up-in-dallas/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/super-bowl-prostitution-100-000-hookers-didn-t-show-but-america-s-latest-political-scam-did/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/sex-traffick911-press-release/

Official Lies About Sex-Trafficking Exposed: It’s now clear Anti Prostitution groups used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-03-23/news/women-s-funding-network-sex-trafficking-study-is-junk-science/

== In the USA ==

On August 5, 2008

U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine uncovered discrepancies in a program dedicated to cracking down on human trafficking, McClatchy Newspapers report. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spent millions of dollars on combating the international trafficking of indentured servants and sex slaves, including by creating task forces across the U.S. that identified and helped victims. Over four years, the department paid $50 million to the task forces and other groups. Conservative groups, who pressured the administration to go after sex trafficking more aggressively, applauded his efforts.

Critics have questioned whether the problem was being hyped. Fine found in an audit issued that the task forces and other groups set up to help were ‘significantly’ overstating the number of victims they served. By examining a sampling of cases, Fine found the task forces had exaggerated by as much as 165 percent. Making matters worse, the inflated numbers were included in annual reports to Congress.

The Sex Trafficking/Slavery idea is used to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing.

This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims. Everything I heard about this problem was Americans complaining about it, but I never heard from the so-called victims themselves complaining about it. Why is that?  Many of the self appointed experts complaining about this have never even met or seen a real forced against their will victim.

The problems I see with the sex traffic idea is that suppose some of the women were not forced into this type of prostitution, but were willing and wanted to do this type of work, and went out of their way to do this type of work. (It is a lot of fast easy money, they don’t need a degree, or a green card.)

All they have to do is lie and say that someone forced them into it. When perhaps, no one did.
If a illegal allien for example is the victim all they have to do is lie and here are their benefits based on the USA anti-traffic prostitution laws:

1. They don’t have to go to jail or be arrested.
2. They get to stay and live in America, and become U.S. citizens
3. The U.S. Government will provide them with housing, food, education and will cater to them since they will be considered victims. .  They will be considered victimed refugees, and can become American citizens.

The way I see it is that this USA government system will encourage people to lie in order to receive all the benefits listed above.

While there are some women who may be true victims.  This is a small rare group of people.

What hard evidence does the police have that these women were forced slaves?  Were all the women that the police saw in fact slaves? Did the police prove without a doubt due to hard concrete evidence that the women were victims of being slaves and forced against their will?  Did they account for all the benefits they would receive if they lied?

I find it very hard to believe that most women in this business are forced against their will to do it. It would just be too difficult. There may be some exceptions but, I believe this is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations.  As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

== In the United Kingdom ==

In October, 2009 – The biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Nick Davis of the Guardian newspaper writes:

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.

===In India and Nepal===

If media reports are to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oft-quoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986, and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was from the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, written by AIDS Society of India secretary general, Dr. I S Gilada, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in The Times of India on January 2, 1989. To date, the source of this figure remains a mystery. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.

There needs to be a distinct separation of

1. Child sex trafficking

2. Adult sex Trafficking

3. Adult consensual

prostitution.

4. Sex Slavery

They are not the same.  Adult Women are NOT children.

Media coverage of trafficking and adult women’s migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. The media wrongly uses the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘trafficking’ and adult sex work and child sex trafficking synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatization, and contributing to the violation of women’s right to free movement and livelihood options.  They assume that if any woman moves from place to place for sex work that they are being trafficking. The media, politicians, aid groups, feminist,  and religious organizations does not take into account that she may do this of her own free will.  Too often  women are treated like children. Adult women are not children. Prostitution is a business between adults and in our society adults are responsible for themselves. Sex slavery/trafficking on the other hand is non-consensual.  To equate that the two are the same is to say grown adult women are not capable of being responsible or thinking for themselves.

Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not “passive victims” in need of “saving” or sending back by western campaigners.

Sex Trafficking/Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims. They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult sex worker. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing. These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advange of these “helpless foreign women wives”.

These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

This is an example of feminists and other groups exploiting the suffering of a small minority of vulnerable and abused women in order to further their own collective interests. For example, getting money from the government and Charity into their organizations. Rather than wanting to find the truth.

Non government Organizations (NGO’s) are chiefly responsible for manufacturing “a growing problem” of trafficking in order to generate revenue for their Federally funded cottage industry. They also fabricated numbers by expanding the definition of trafficking to include practically anyone.

For example various women’s groups testified under oath at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (July 13, 2007) that US based matchmaking organizations were correlated to human trafficking ring.
womenspolicy.org/thesource/article.cfm?ArticleID=1442

This hysterical claim was an emotional ploy to get legislators to enact the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. The truth reveals THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A US BASED MATCHMAKING AGENCY ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING. These NGO’s spread their propaganda partnering with Lifetime television(Television for women) conducting a poll among viewers (mostly women) to asociate “mail order brides services” with trafficking of women to generate support for the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. wqad.com/global/story.asp?s=3970595&ClientType=Print

This romance law requires American men submit criminal hard copy records to be reviewed before they can communicate with a foreign lady using a matchmaking organization.
wqad.com/global/story.asp?s=3970595&ClientType=Print

Why should the US government dole out millions of dollars to NGO’s such as Polaris Project whose executives are paid handsome salaries when the money could be spent on REAL PROBLEMS?

Most of the information above relates to Adult prostitution.

The following information is from a report from the Crimes against children research center which talks about the Unknown Exaggerated Statistics of Juvenile Prostitution.

Crimes against Children Research Center ● University of New Hampshire ● 126 Horton Social Science Center ● Durham, NH 03824 (603) 862‐1888●Fax: (603) 862‐1122●www.unh.edu/ccrc

How Many Juveniles are Involved in Prostitution in the U.S.?

There have been many attempts to estimate the number of juvenile prostitutes within the United States. These estimates range from 1,400 to 2.4 million, although most fall between 300,000 and 600,000. BUT PLEASE DO NOT CITE THESE NUMBERS. READ ON. A close look at these diverse estimates reveals that none are based on a strong scientific foundation. They are mostly educated guesses or extrapolations based on questionable assumptions. They do not have the substance of typically reported crime statistics, like the number of robberies or the number of child sexual abuse victims. The reality is that we do not currently know how many juveniles are involved in prostitution. Scientifically credible estimates do not exist.

The most often cited estimates on juvenile prostitution will be described here and their source, along with the major problems with their validity. Estes and WeinerPerhaps the most commonly used estimate of juvenile prostitution comes from Estes and Weiner (2001). These authors concluded in a large, publicized report that about 326,000 children were “at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.” However, there are several problems with treating this number as an estimate of juvenile prostitution. First, although this is often cited as an estimate of juvenile prostitutes, even the authors call it something muchmore nebulous: youth “at risk” of commercial sexual exploitation. “At risk” means it is compilation of youth in various categories (14 in total) – like runaway kids, female gangmembers – who could become or be involved in commercial sexual exploitation. But the authors had no evidence of how many or what proportion of these youth actually were involved. Secondly, the numbers that form the basis of their various “at risk” categories are themselves highly speculative. One large portion of the estimate is simply a crude guess that 35% of a national estimate of runaway youth out of their home a week or longer were “at risk”. Another large portion was a guess that one quarter of 1% of the general population of youth 10‐17 were “at risk”. Together these two groups constitute nearly 200,000 of the at risk youth. But it is essentially a guesstimate and not a scientific estimate.

A third problem is that no one has any idea how much duplication there is among the 14 at risk groups. Some of the runaways are also gang members and living in public housing, etc. so one cannot simply add together estimates from these various sources. A scientific estimate would have to “unduplicate” the numbers from the various categories. In sum, no one should cite the 326,000 number from Estes and Weiner as a scientifically based estimate of the number of juvenile prostitutes. AddHealth Survey Another estimate with some research credibility is from a recent study by Edwards, Iritani, and Hallfors (2005), which found that 3.5% of an AddHealth sample endorsed an item asking if they had “ever exchanged sex for drugs or money.” The nationally representative sample was comprised of 13,294 youth in grades 8‐12 during the year 1996 who completed an in‐school questionnaire. The majority (67.9%) of those saying they had participated in a sex exchange were males.

A first caveat about this estimate is that it is not clear that what the respondents were endorsing really constituted prostitution. For example, could a juvenile who had paid a prostitute for sex consider that to have been an “exchange of sex for money” and thus said yes to the question? Could a sexual encounter that involved sharing drugs with a partner as part of consensual sex have prompted someone to say yes to the question, even though the drugs were not necessarily a sine qua non of the sexual encounter? The similarity between prostitution and exchanging sex for goods needs to be clarified if this estimate is to be accepted as an estimate of juvenile prostitution. In addition, the fact that the majority of those endorsing the question were boys raises an important validity question about this estimate. Virtually no analyst of the problem thinks that there are truly so many more boys than girls engaged in juvenile prostitution; because the survey found more boys engaging in prostitution, there may be some misunderstanding of the

question at work. It may be possible to obtain an incidence estimate for juvenile prostitution through a general population survey, but the questions and details will have to be more specific to confirm that what is being counted is truly prostitution or sexual exploitation. General Accounting Office Report In 1982, the General Accounting Office attempted to determine the basis of existing juvenile prostitution estimates. The General Accounting Office (1982) found that the “general perception” estimates ranged from “tens of thousands to 2.4 million.” One set of estimates from 1982 seemed to trace back to the “gut hunches” of Robin Lloyd, the author of the 1976 book, “For Love or Money: Boy Prostitution in America,” who used a working figure of 300,000 male juvenile prostitutes. The President of the Odyssey Institute adopted this figure, then doubled it to cover female juvenile prostitutes, increasing the estimate to 600,000. Because the Odyssey Institute president believed that only half of juvenile prostitutes were known, the 600,000 figure was doubled; the estimate was doubled once more to 2.4 million because the president believed that the estimate did not include 16 and 17 year old prostitutes. These were

all just hunches without scientific basis. The General Accounting Office (1982) report also located an estimate by the Criminal Justice Institute Inc., which stated that 20 to 25 percent of all prostitutes were juveniles. The Criminal Justice Institute, Inc. estimated that there were 450,000 prostitutes of all ages, leading to an estimate of 90,000 to 112,500 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S. However, these Criminal Justice Institute Inc. estimates are not linked to any citation for methodological verification or explanation. Finally, a New York City shelter president estimated that there were “tens of thousands” of juvenile prostitutes across the nation. These “gut hunch” statistics assembled by the General Accounting Office may have been the basis for some rough consensus about the magnitude of juvenile prostitution among advocates. But there were no hard statistics. Moreover, whatever the rates were in the 1970s and 1980s, they almost certainly no longer apply. That was an era when the juvenile runaway problem was considerably larger than at present. There is indication that since the 1970s and ‘80s, running away has declined (Finkelhor & Jones, 2006) and, in the era of AIDS, casual sexual behavior among the young has also become less frequent (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2005). So it is likely that estimates from 20 or 30 years ago have little applicability to the U.S. at

the present time. Despite the fact that the General Accounting Office estimates are obsolete, current groups concerned with child welfare still use this estimate. For example, Children of the Night (http://www.childrenofthenight.org/faq.html) cites the 1982 General Accounting Office estimate of 600,000 juvenile prostitutes under the age of 16. This organization also cites UNICEF estimates of 300,000 juvenile prostitutes (In a 2004 textbook entitled “Child Labour: A Textbook for University Students”, the International Labour Organization cites the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as estimating 300,000 juvenile prostitutes. When asked to verify this, U.S. DHHS could not locate this estimate.). When asked about the estimates on the Children of the Night website, founder and President Lois Lee responded: “I am always pressured for statistics and I have said, there is no way to know for sure because there is no counting mechanism, no quantitative analysis on the subject. Several years ago, I suggested to a lot of [government] agencies and NGO’s that about 1/3rd of all runaways have some kind of “brush” with a pimp or prostitution. All the professionals agreed that was a good estimate. UNICEF published it as their own.” L. Lee (personal communication, September 29, 2007).

A considerable number of the estimates of juvenile prostitution do start with more scientifically based survey statistics on running away (for example, Hammer, Finkelhor & Sedlak, 2002), which suggest that hundreds of thousands of youth runaway every year. It might seem plausible that a significant percentage of runaway street youths engage in survival sex or get recruited into prostitution. But it is important to remember that most of the youth identified as runaways in survey samples are not truly on the streets (Hammer et al., 2002). Most runaways run to the homes of friends and family. Thus, it is not accurate to simply think about the experience of street runaways and generalize from that experience to the experience of all runaways.

Other Estimates Other organizations do not cite sources that have reliable methodologies. The Coalition against Trafficking in Women (http://www.catwinternational.org/factbook/usa2_prost.php) estimates that there are between 300,000 and 600,000 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S., citing a Beacon

Journal news article from 1997. The article, entitled “Danger for Prostitutes Increasing, Most Starting Younger,” cited Gary Costello of the Exploited Child Unit of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but did not include a discussion of the way that the estimate was calculated. The 1995 Progress of Nations report by UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/pon95/progtoc.html) offers a “guesstimate” of 300,000 juvenile prostitutes in the U.S. under the age of 18. The UNICEF report cited a U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate used inUNICEF’s “Breaking the Walls of Silence: A UNICEF Background Paper on the Sexual Exploitation of Children” report from 1994. Again, there was no discussion as to how this number was derived in the Progress of Nations report. Similarly, the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html) reports that 293,000 juveniles are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation. This estimate was made based on the Estes and Weiner (2001) article discussed previously.

Some figures about the related problem of “sex trafficking of children” are also available, but once again with a speculative methodology, a “computer simulation.” Clawson, Layne, and Small (2006) estimated in a very statistically complicated report that over 800,000 females, including over 100,000 under age 19, were “at risk” of being trafficked to the US from eight nations: Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico. These include trafficking for all purposes including for employment. Of those at risk, the authors estimate that roughly 15,000 females under nineteen were being trafficked for sex from those nations. However, the authors concede that these estimates are not informed by any real statistics or research about the true rates of adult or child sex trafficking, but rather that the estimates are “probabilit[ies] based on a mathematical equation, not a reality” (M. Layne 2/4/2008). Police Data

There are also national estimates from law enforcement sources about the number of juveniles taken into custody because of prostitution and related crimes. For example, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data analyzed by Snyder and Sickmund (2006) shows that 1,400 juveniles were arrested nationally in 2003 for prostitution and commercialized vice. These data come from aggregating data from most of the local law enforcement agencies in the U.S., and are the same data used to estimate year‐to‐year estimates in violent and property crime. This is a plausible estimate of the number of youth arrested for prostitution and commercialized vice because, in truth, not many law enforcement agencies are actively arresting youth in regard to this problem, as a soon to be released CCRC study will show. But there is undoubtedly more prostitution involving youth; law enforcement officials believe many youths involved in prostitution are arrested for other crimes (e.g., drug possession, curfew violation, etc.) but not prostitution per se. Most observers believe also that there are also many youth engaged in prostitution who are never arrested by police. So, while this UCR estimate is plausible, no one believes this estimate fully characterizes the problem. It is rarely cited, even as part of a spectrum of estimates, perhaps because it would so lower the range as to make the higher estimates seem more extreme.

Conclusion As the critique of estimates suggest, there is currently no reliable estimate of juvenile prostitution. Some current estimates are based upon “gut hunches” and “guesstimates” from almost thirty years ago. Others offer definitions of sexual exchange that may not actually constitute prostitution. Also, the methods used to create these estimates are often difficult to find, making them methodologically suspect. These organizations often recognize these problems but continue to cite such poorly calculated estimates. People concerned about the problem very much want there to be a number that they can cite. Because other people have cited numbers, there has come to be a “collective intuition” about the rough magnitude based on these earlier claims. But in reality there is little scientific substance behind any of them. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in social problem analysis and has been called the “Woozle Effect” (Gelles 1980). The “Woozle Effect” occurs when one writer reports an estimate based on a typically weak methodology or guesstimate that is subsequently cited by other writers, but without the first writer’s caveats (Gelles 1980). Estimates of juvenile prostitution seem to have taken this path: the “gut hunches” of one author and the compiling of such hunches by the General Accounting Office have seemed to provide a basis for contemporary estimates of juvenile prostitution, despite the fact that the General Accounting Office states that the estimates in the literature are “general perceptions” (General Accounting Office, 1982).

What are journalists and scholars to do?

It is our suggestion that in the absence of any estimates with any good scientific basis, that scholars, writers and advocates stop using the unsubstantiated estimates and simply indicate that the true incidence is currently unknown. It is very frustrating to write about a topic and not have an estimate of its magnitude, but we believe that continued citation of unsupported estimates gives them credibility. Even writing that “No one knows how many juveniles are engaged in prostitution, but estimates have been made from 1,400 to 2.4 million,” contributes to the problem. It gives people the impression that these are knowledgeable estimates about the current situation and that the real number lies somewhere in the middle of that range, which it may not. For brief treatments of the problem, one can say simply: “Unfortunately, there are no credible or supported estimates about the size of the problem.” For more extended treatments of the problem, one can cite some of the statistics, but then indicate that these numbers are based mostly on guesses or extremely imprecise and speculative methodologies. It would be a good idea when citing any numbers to be sure to include the low end estimate from law enforcement of 1,400, since this is among the most recent and clearly defined of the estimates, and counters the assumption that all the estimates are large.    Crimes against Children Research Center ● University of New Hampshire ● 126 Horton Social Science Center ● Durham, NH 03824(603) 862‐1888●Fax: (603) 862‐1122●www.unh.edu/ccrcFact sheet written by Michelle Stransky and David Finkelhor. (2008)

From the Department of Justice Stats pages:

Human Trafficking/Trafficking in Persons

According to The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and its 2003, 2005, and 2008, human trafficking has occurred if a person was induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Any person under age 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion were present.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) funded the creation of the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS). This system provides data on human trafficking incidents investigated between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008.

An incident is defined as any investigation into a claim of human trafficking or any investigation of other crimes in which elements of potential human trafficking were identified.

Summary Findings

Between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008 task forces reported investigating 1,229 alleged incidents of human trafficking.

  • About 78% of these incidents were still under investigation at the end of the reporting period. Investigations were completed and closed during the 21-month reporting period for the remaining 22%.
  • Less than 10% of alleged human trafficking incidents reported by task forces were confirmed as human trafficking, 10% were pending confirmation, and 23% had been determined not to involve any human trafficking elements.
  • Sex trafficking accounted for 83% of the alleged incidents,12% involved allegations of either labor trafficking, and 5% were other/unknown forms of human trafficking.

Of the 1,018 alleged sex trafficking incidents reported by task forces —

  • 391 (38%) involved allegations of child sex trafficking and 627 (62%) incidents involved allegations of adult sex trafficking, such as forced prostitution or other sex trafficking crimes.
  • Forced prostitution (46%) and child sex trafficking (30%) represented the largest categories of confirmed human trafficking incidents.
  • Allegations of forced or coerced adult prostitution accounted for 63% of human trafficking investigations that were ultimately found not to involve human trafficking elements.

Below is a article from the Washington Post:

Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence.

U.S. Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Outrage was mounting at the 1999 hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building, where congressmen were learning about human trafficking.

A woman from Nepal testified that September that she had been drugged, abducted and forced to work at a brothel in Bombay. A Christian activist recounted tales of women overseas being beaten with electrical cords and raped. A State Department official said Congress must act — 50,000 slaves were pouring into the United States every year, she said. Furious about the “tidal wave” of victims, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) vowed to crack down on so-called modern-day slavery.

The next year, Congress passed a law, triggering a little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking that began at the end of the Clinton administration and is now a top Bush administration priority. As part of the fight, President Bush has blanketed the nation with 42 Justice Department task forces and spent more than $150 million — all to find and help the estimated hundreds of thousands of victims of forced prostitution or labor in the United States.

But the government couldn’t find them. Not in this country.

The evidence and testimony presented to Congress pointed to a problem overseas. But in the seven years since the law was passed, human trafficking has not become a major domestic issue, according to the government’s figures.

The administration has identified 1,362 victims of human trafficking brought into the United States since 2000, nowhere near the 50,000 a year the government had estimated. In addition, 148 federal cases have been brought nationwide, some by the Justice task forces, which are composed of prosecutors, agents from the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement officials in areas thought to be hubs of trafficking.

In the Washington region, there have been about 15 federal cases this decade.

Ronald Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University and an expert on sex trafficking, said that trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims often fear coming forward. He said that might account for some of the disparity in the numbers, but only a small amount.

“The discrepancy between the alleged number of victims per year and the number of cases they’ve been able to make is so huge that it’s got to raise major questions,” Weitzer said. “It suggests that this problem is being blown way out of proportion.”

Government officials define trafficking as holding someone in a workplace through force, fraud or coercion. Trafficking generally takes two forms: sex or labor. The victims in most prosecutions in the Washington area have been people forced into prostitution. The Department of Health and Human Services “certifies” trafficking victims in the United States after verifying that they were subjected to forced sex or labor. Only non-U.S. citizens brought into this country by traffickers are eligible to be certified, entitling them to receive U.S. government benefits.

Administration officials acknowledge that they have found fewer victims than anticipated. Brent Orrell, an HHS deputy assistant secretary, said that certifications are increasing and that the agency is working hard to “help identify many more victims.” He also said: “We still have a long way to go.”

But Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, said that the issue is “not about the numbers. It’s really about the crime and how horrific it is.” Fratto also said the domestic response to trafficking “cannot be ripped out of the context” of the U.S. government’s effort to fight it abroad. “We have an obligation to set an example for the rest of the world, so if we have this global initiative to stop human trafficking and slavery, how can we tolerate even a minimal number within our own borders?”

He said that the president’s passion about fighting trafficking is motivated in part by his Christian faith and his outrage at the crime. “It’s a practice that he obviously finds disgusting, as most rational people would, and he wants America to be the leader in ending it,” Fratto said. “He sees it as a moral obligation.”

Although there have been several estimates over the years, the number that helped fuel the congressional response — 50,000 victims a year — was an unscientific estimate by a CIA analyst who relied mainly on clippings from foreign newspapers, according to government sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the agency’s methods. Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told Congress last year that a much lower estimate in 2004 — 14,500 to 17,500 a year — might also have been overstated.

Yet the government spent $28.5 million in 2006 to fight human trafficking in the United States, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. The effort has attracted strong bipartisan support.

Steven Wagner, who helped HHS distribute millions of dollars in grants to community groups to find and assist victims, said “Those funds were wasted.”

“Many of the organizations that received grants didn’t really have to do anything,” said Wagner, former head of HHS’s anti-trafficking program. “They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”

Still, the raw emotion of the issue internationally and domestically has spawned dozens of activist organizations that fight trafficking. They include the Polaris Project, which was founded in 2002 by two college students, and the Washington-based Break the Chain Campaign, which started in the mid-1990s focusing on exploited migrant workers before concentrating on trafficking after 2000.

Activist groups and administration officials strongly defend their efforts, saying that trafficking is a terrible crime and that even one case is too many. They said that cultural obstacles and other impediments prevent victims from coming forward.

Mark P. Lagon, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that such problems make the numbers “naturally murky. . . . There are vigorous U.S. government efforts to find and help victims in the United States, not because there is some magic number that we have a gut instinct is out there. Any estimate we’re citing, we’ve always said, is an estimate.”

But Lagon said he is convinced that “thousands upon thousands of people are subject to gross exploitation” in the United States.

Few question that trafficking is a serious problem in many countries, and the U.S. government has spent more than half a billion dollars fighting it around the world since 2000.

Last year, anti-trafficking projects overseas included $3.4 million to help El Salvador fight child labor and $175,000 for community development training for women in remote Mekong Delta villages in Vietnam, according to the State Department. Human trafficking, in the United States and abroad, is under attack by 10 federal agencies that report to a Cabinet-level task force chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the United States, activists say that trafficking has received far more attention than crimes such as domestic violence, of which there are hundreds of thousands of documented victims every year.

The quest to find and help victims of trafficking has become so urgent that the Bush administration hired a public relations firm, a highly unusual approach to fighting crime. Ketchum, a New York-based public relations firm, has received $9.5 million and has been awarded $2.5 million more.

“We’re giving money to Ketchum so they can train people who can train people who can train people to serve victims,” said one Washington area provider of services for trafficking victims, who receives government funding and spoke on condition of anonymity. “Trafficking victims are hidden. They’re not really going to be affected by a big, splashy PR campaign. They’re not watching Lifetime television.”

Yet the anti-trafficking crusade goes on, partly because of the issue’s uniquely nonpartisan appeal. In the past four years, more than half of all states have passed anti-trafficking laws, although local prosecutions have been rare.

“There’s huge political momentum, because this is a no-brainer issue,” said Derek Ellerman, co-founder of the Polaris Project. “No one is going to stand up and oppose fighting modern-day slavery.”

A Matter of Faith
Throughout the 1990s, evangelicals and other Christians grew increasingly concerned about international human rights, fueled by religious persecution in Sudan and other countries. They were also rediscovering a tradition of social reform dating to when Christians fought the slave trade of an earlier era.

Human trafficking has always been a problem in some cultures but increased in the early 1990s, experts say.

For conservative Christians, trafficking was “a clear-cut, uncontroversial, terrible thing going on in the world,” said Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission in Arlington, a Christian human rights group.

Feminist groups and other organizations also seized on trafficking, and a 1999 meeting at the Capitol, organized by former Nixon White House aide Charles W. Colson, helped seal a coalition. The session in the office of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) brought together the Southern Baptist Convention, conservative William Bennett and Rabbi David Saperstein, a prominent Reform Jewish activist.

The session focused only on trafficking victims overseas, said Mariam Bell, national public policy director for Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministries.

“It was just ghastly stuff,” Armey recalled last week, saying that he immediately agreed to support an anti-trafficking law. “I felt a sense of urgency that this must be done, and as soon as possible.”

A New Law
A law was more likely to be enacted if its advocates could quantify the issue. During a PowerPoint presentation in April 1999, the CIA provided an estimate: 45,000 to 50,000 women and children were trafficked into the United States every year.

The CIA briefing emerged from the Clinton administration’s growing interest in the problem. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had been pushing the issue, former administration officials said.

But information was scarce, so a CIA analyst was told to assess the problem in the United States and abroad. She combed through intelligence reports and law enforcement data. Her main source, however, was news clippings about trafficking cases overseas — from which she tried to extrapolate the number of U.S. victims.

The CIA estimate soon appeared in a report by a State Department analyst that was the U.S. government’s first comprehensive assessment of trafficking. State Department officials raised the alarm about victims trafficked into the United States when they appeared before Congress in 1999 and 2000, citing the CIA estimate. A Justice Department official testified that the number might have been 100,000 each year.

The congressional hearings focused mostly on trafficking overseas. At the House hearing in September 1999, Rep. Earl F. Hilliard (D-Ala.) changed the subject and zeroed in on Laura J. Lederer, a Harvard University expert on trafficking.

“How prevalent is the sex trade here in this country?” Hilliard asked.

“We have so very little information on this subject in this country. . . . so very few facts,” Lederer said.

“Excuse me, but is the sex trade prevalent here?” Hilliard asked.

Nobody knows, Lederer said.

Bipartisan passion melted any uncertainty, and in October 2000, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, significantly broadening the federal definition of trafficking. Prosecutors would no longer have to rely on statutes that required them to prove a victim had been subjected to physical violence or restraints, such as chains. Now, a federal case could be made if a trafficker had psychologically abused a victim.

The measure toughened penalties against traffickers, provided extensive services for victims and committed the United States to a leading role internationally, requiring the State Department to rank countries and impose sanctions if their anti-trafficking efforts fell short.

The law’s fifth sentence says: “Congress finds that . . . approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year.”

Raising Awareness
Just as the law took effect, along came a new president to enforce it.

Bell, with Prison Fellowship Ministries, noted that when Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly in 2003, he focused on the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism and the war on trafficking.

Soon after Bush took office, a network of anti-trafficking nonprofit agencies arose, spurred in part by an infusion of federal dollars.

HHS officials were determined to raise public awareness and encourage victims to come forward. For help, they turned to Ketchum in 2003.

Legal experts said they hadn’t heard of hiring a public relations firm to fight a crime problem. Wagner, who took over HHS’s anti-trafficking program in 2003, said that the strategy was “extremely unusual” but that creative measures were needed.

“The victims of this crime won’t come forward. Law enforcement doesn’t handle that very well, when they have to go out and find a crime,” he said.

Ketchum, whose Washington lobbying arm is chaired by former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), formed coalitions of community groups in two states and 19 cities, to search for and aid victims. The coalition effort was overseen by a subcontractor, Washington-based Capital City Partners, whose executives during the period of oversight have included the former heads of the Fund for a Conservative Majority and the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, in addition to the former editorial page editor of the conservative Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader newspaper.

Trying to Get the Number Right
Three years ago, the government downsized its estimate of trafficking victims, but even those numbers have not been borne out.

The effort to acquire a more precise number had begun at the Library of Congress and Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, where graduate students on a CIA contract stayed up nights, using the Internet to find clippings from foreign newspapers.

Once again, the agency was using mainly news clips from foreign media to estimate the numbers of trafficking victims, along with reports from government agencies and anti-trafficking groups. The students at Mercyhurst, a school known for its intelligence studies program, were enlisted to help.

But their work was thought to be inconsistent, said officials at the Government Accountability Office, which criticized the government’s trafficking numbers in a report last year.

A part-time researcher at the Library of Congress took over the project. “The numbers were totally unreliable,” said David Osborne, head of research for the library’s federal research division. “If it was reported that 15 women were trafficked from Romania into France, French media might pick it up and say 32 women and someone else would say 45.”

A CIA analyst ran the research through a computer simulation program, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing the CIA’s methods. It spat out estimates of destination countries for trafficking victims worldwide. The new number of victims trafficked into the United States: 14,500 to 17,500 each year.

The simulation is considered a valid way to measure probability if the underlying data are reliable. “It seems incredibly unlikely that this was a robust, sound analysis,” said David Banks, a statistics professor at Duke University.

The CIA’s new estimate, which first appeared in a 2004 State Department report, has been widely quoted, including by a senior Justice Department official at a media briefing this year. It’s also posted on the HHS Web site.

The Justice Department’s human trafficking task force in Washington has mounted an aggressive effort to find victims.

But at a meeting of the task force this year, then-coordinator Sharon Marcus-Kurn said that detectives had spent “umpteen hours of overtime” repeatedly interviewing women found in Korean- and Hispanic-owned brothels. “It’s very difficult to find any underlying trafficking that is there,” Marcus-Kurn told the group.

People trafficked into the United States have traditionally been the focus of the crackdown. In recent years, there has been increasing debate about whether the victim estimates should include U.S. citizens. For example, adult U.S. citizens forced into prostitution are also trafficking victims under federal law, but some say that such cases should be left to local police.

D.C.: A Trafficking Hub?
In a classroom at the D.C. police academy in January, President Bush appears on a screen at a mandatory training session in how to investigate and identify trafficking. The 55 officers who attended watch a slide show featuring testimonials from government officials and a clip from Bush’s 2003 speech to the United Nations.

Sally Stoecker, lead researcher for Shared Hope International in Arlington, which aims to increase awareness of sex trafficking, takes the microphone. “It’s a huge crime, and it’s continuing to grow,” Stoecker says, citing the government’s most recent estimate of victims.

The D.C. officers are among thousands of law enforcement officials nationwide who have been trained in how to spot trafficking. In Montgomery County, police have investigated numerous brothels since the force was trained in 2005 and last year. Officers have found a few trafficking victims, but there have been no prosecutions.

The Justice Department runs law enforcement task forces across the country. It’s a top priority for the department’s Civil Rights Division.

Justice officials have said there has been a 600 percent increase in U.S. cases. But the department said in a report last September: “In absolute numbers, it is true that the prosecution figures pale in comparison to the estimated scope of the problem.”

The 148 cases filed this decade by the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s offices might not include what Justice officials call a limited number of child trafficking prosecutions by the Criminal Division, Justice officials said Friday. They could not provide a number.

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard E. Trodden, who studied trafficking for the Virginia Crime Commission, said he doesn’t know of any local prosecutions in Northern Virginia.

Nearly seven years after it began, the anti-trafficking campaign rolls on.

“This is important for me personally,” Gonzales said in January as he announced the creation of a Justice Department unit to focus on trafficking cases. Encouraged by Gonzales, who sent letters to all 50 governors, states continued to pass anti-trafficking laws.

Maryland enacted a law in May that toughens penalties.

Virginia has not taken legislative action; some legislators have said that a law isn’t needed.

HHS is still paying people to find victims. Last fall, the agency announced $3.4 million in new “street outreach” awards to 22 groups nationwide.

Nearly $125,000 went to Mosaic Family Services, a nonprofit agency in Dallas. For the past year, its employees have put out the word to hospitals, police stations, domestic violence shelters — any organization that might come into contact with a victim.

“They’re doing about a thousand different things,” said Bill Bernstein, Mosaic’s deputy director.

Three victims were found.

The Super Bowl Prostitute Myth: 100,000 Hookers Won’t Be Showing Up in Dallas

By Pete Kotz: From the Dallas Observer newspaper

published: January 27, 2011

The alarm bells reached peak decibel in November, when Dallas Police Sergeant Louis Felini told the The Dallas Morning News that between 50,000 and 100,000 prostitutes could descend on the metroplex for the Super Bowl. The call to outrage had sounded.

His estimate was astonishing. At the higher figure, it meant that every man, woman and child holding a ticket would have their own personal hooker, from the vice presidential wing of FedEx to Little Timmy from Green Bay.

And if you believed a study commissioned by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the hordes would include 38,000 underage prostitutes. Doe-eyed beauties from the Heartland would be peddled like Jell-O shots at the Delta Phi soiree.

Official Dallas would not be caught flat-footed. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the FBI pledged extra manpower to fight “human trafficking.” The Arlington Police Department put up billboards near Cowboys Stadium. They featured flashing photos of busted johns, warning visitors: We don’t take kindly to perverts like you, son.

Even the Shapiro Law Firm leaped in. Noting that an estimated 40,000 hookers showed up in Dallas for the NBA All-Star game last year, it wanted to make sure that, should a hedge fund manager find himself ensnared in naked compromise, “our attorneys provide experienced defense for sex crimes, including the solicitation of a prostitute.”

The city was gearing up for a massive invasion of skanks and sex fiends. It would be like Normandy, only with way more plastic surgery—the largest single gathering of freaks and pedophiles the world has ever seen. At least outside of a Vatican staff meeting.

But if Dallas is like any other Super Bowl—or Olympics or World Cup, for that matter—today’s four-alarm panic will tinkle as softly as a servant’s bell by next week. All evidence says that America’s call girls will be at home, watching the game of TV, just like you and me.

Judging by Super Bowls past, the mass migration of teenage sex slaves is nothing more than myth.

Read between his very terse lines, and you can tell that Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear from mopes like yours truly, wondering why his customers are adulterers and child molesters.

The routine is the same in every Super Bowl city. The media beats the drum of impending invasion, warning that anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 hookers will soon arrive. Politicians lather on their special sauce of manufactured outrage. Cops and prosecutors vow stings and beefed up manpower.

By implication, the NFL’s wealthiest and most connected fans—captains of industry and senators from Utah—will be plotting a week of sexual rampage not seen since the Vikings sailed on Scotland. And they must be stopped.

“This is urban legend that is pure pulp fiction,” the NFL’s McCarthy says. “I would refer you to your local law enforcement officials.”

So that’s what we did. Meet police Sergeant Tommy Thompson of Phoenix, which hosted the 2008 Super Bowl. “We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes,” Thompson says of his vice cops. “They didn’t notice any sort of glitch in the number of prostitution arrests leading up to the Super Bowl.”

Conspicuously noted: He doesn’t recall a single arrest of an underage girl.

Perhaps Phoenix was an anomaly. So let’s go to Tampa, host of Super Bowl 2009. Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis says her department ran special operations on the sex trade. They came up empty. “We didn’t see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa,” she says. “The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same.”

Now it could be that both departments are incompetent, mistaking tens of thousands of women in fishnet stockings for a very large synchronized swimming team. So let’s travel to Europe, where the hooker influx for the World Cup is routinely pegged at 40,000. If anyone’s going to break the record for the world’s largest orgy, it’s the Godless Eurotrash, right?

Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup. U.S congressmen warned the promiscuous Krauts that fleshly opportunism would not be tolerated. So the government spent millions of euros to crush human trafficking. No one could say the Germans were perv enablers.

But apparently 39,995 of the blasphemers had carburetor trouble in Prague and never showed. The final Cup tally for forced prostitution arrests: 5. German brothels couldn’t even report a surge in business. And a further study by the Swedish government ruled “the 40,000 estimate was unfounded and unrealistic.”

There don’t appear to be solid figures for last summer’s South African Cup, but anecdotal evidence says the sex business was slow.

The only concrete numbers we have: Museums showed record attendance.

This isn’t to say that the sex trade isn’t alive and well. It is. Nor is it to imply there are no such thing as teen prostitutes. There are. The problem is that most of what we believe remains fixed in a blaxploitation film from 1973, where menacing pimps named Lester beat their weeping charges with diamond-encrusted canes.

Ask Maggie McNeill.

That’s not her real name. It’s the pen name she uses on her website, The Honest Courtesan, where she dispenses wisdom on all things hooker. She ran an escort service in New Orleans for six years, supplying ladies for the 2002 Super Bowl. As she sees it, almost all we believe about the industry is fallacy.

“Pimps do exist,” she says, “but they’re a relatively rare phenomenon.” The vast majority of hookers are willing, independent contractors.

Underage hookers are also “extremely rare,” McNeill says. Over the years, she fielded a few hundred applications from ladies of the eve. Only one didn’t pass a drivers license check.

Sure, there are exceptions. But McNeill doesn’t think huge numbers of hookers are going anywhere. And they won’t be heading to Dallas for a very simple reason: Sporting events suck for the sex trade.

The younger fans have already spent thousands on jacked-up hotel rates, airfare and scalped tickets, she says. They only have enough left to nurse Bud Lights and Jäger bombs.

The executive caste may have money to burn, but most bring their families along. “What do they say to their wives?” McNeill asks. “‘Hey honey, I’m going to see a hooker now?'”

As for McNeill’s experience during Super Bowl week in New Orleans: “I really saw no change whatsoever.”

So how do these myths get started? Through good intentions, of course.

There’s no way to quantify the number of hookers, since most women won’t admit to their profession. Public confession only brings an audit from the IRS or a visit from child welfare workers.

That leaves the outside world to speculate—usually with stats only appreciated after eight beers near closing time. Professors pitch junk studies whereby every runaway girl is a potential prostitute.

Advocacy groups take those numbers and fan them by the thousands, buffing them with lurid anecdotes of “sex slaves” and “victims of human trafficking.” The fervent simply can’t believe that isolated cases are just that: isolated.

But it’s hard to kindle interest in the world’s oldest profession. So they latch onto the occasional news story or CNN special. After all, children in distress sell.

“Underage girls make better victims, better poster children,” says McNeill, a former librarian with a master’s from LSU. “I’m 44. What kind of believable victim would I make?”

The study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation shows how the numbers are baked. It hired a company to gauge the percentage of juvenile hookers in Dallas. Its scientific method: Look at online escort ads and guess the ages of the women pictured!

Never mind that escort services often yank said photos from the Internet to put their most sultry visual forward. And never mind that such methodology wouldn’t pass muster at Mert’s Discount Community College & Small Engine Repair.

The company still decreed that 38 percent of Dallas hookers were underage!

(Disclosure: The Dallas Observer and Backpage are owned by the same parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings.)

Not ones to miss 30 seconds of free air time, that’s when the politicians climb aboard. After all, what would you rather do? Be fitted for the role of child-rescuing hero at a congressional hearing or a press conference? Or sit down to the complex, painful task of addressing America’s age-old runaway problem?

Of course, we in the media are equally culpable. We dutifully relay the fraud via our Patented Brand of Unquestioning Stenography, rarely bothering to check if it’s remotely plausible. And by this time, there’s no going back. The fraud must be upheld. Charities have raised money to help the innocents. Politicians have brayed and task forces have been appointed. Editors and news directors have ordered five-part series. No one wants to look like a moron.

But the week after every Super Bowl, they all go quiet.

Either the 100,000 hookers never showed, or they were in dastardly possession of super invisible powers.

Maybe it will be different in Dallas, with its all-hands-on-deck vigilance. Perhaps next week’s dockets will be sagging with thousands of runaway middle-school volleyball stars. Perhaps the Shapiro Law Firm will be giving a bulk rate to the entire roster of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Perhaps.

Super Bowl prostitution: 100,000 hookers didn’t show, but America’s latest political scam did.

Pete Kotz:  From the Dallas Observer newspaper

published: March 03, 2011

Had elected officials done even the slightest research, they would have known it was myth. But this had little to do with protecting women and children. Think of it as a combination religious revival and political scam.

Politicians, women’s groups, cops and child advocates were predicting that up to 100,000 hookers would be shipped into Dallas for the Super Bowl. It would be akin to the invasion of Normandy—with silicone and come-hither poses at no extra charge.

Yet someone forgot to tell America’s prostitutes they had an appointment with destiny. The arrest numbers are now in. The hookers failed to show.

It was folly from the outset, of course. To buy the hype, you had to believe that the NFL’s wealthiest fans stuffed their carry-on luggage with searing libidinal hunger. Though by day they pretended to be mercantile saints from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, they were actually marauding sex fiends. Their plot: Turn Hilton hot tubs into naked versions of the New York Stock Exchange.

And if that wasn’t enough to scare the good citizens of Dallas, women’s groups slathered the plot with surplus outrage. Up to 38,000 of these hookers would be child sex slaves, according to a study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation. They’d presumably been kidnapped en masse while waiting in line at the mall Cinnabon, then shipped to Dallas for deflowering by venture capitalists and frozen-food barons.

America’s human trafficking epidemic was coming to North Texas. The Super Bowl would be ground zero.

Conveniently, the same people making the claims reserved the roles of hero for themselves. Worry not, good people of Dallas: They would repel the infidels at the city gates.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott puffed his chest and promised dozens of extra bodies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security linked arms with 13 state and local police agencies in a task force. Even the airline industry leaped in, training flight attendants to spot the indentured.

Linda Smith, a former Washington congresswoman and founder of Shared Hope International, announced her date with gallantry in The Dallas Morning News. “Now that I know it, I have no choice but to stand and fight,” she said. “This is just brutal, brutal slavery of girls.”

Deena Graves, executive director of the Christian group Traffick911, took it even further, framing the clash as nothing short of Jesus vs. Depravity. God Himself had naturally anointed her as His general.

“We believe, without a doubt, that God gave us the Super Bowl this year to raise awareness of what’s happening with these kids,” she told the Morning News.

But since they hadn’t bothered to do the research, they would be forced to clash swords with an imaginary foe. Such is the burden of the selfless crusader.

From Germany to Miami, the same hysteria precedes every big sporting event, be it the Super Bowl, the World Cup, or the Olympics. The only difference is that Dallas, befitting its perch as buckle of the Bible Belt, jacked up the decibels.

Before every big game, church bells ring of a massive hooker invasion. Incurious newspapers parrot the claims;a five-minute Google search being too much trouble. Then politicians and activists climb aboard.

The recipe for civic panic is placed in the oven, set for baking to a charred husk.

Yet when each event ends with just a handful of arrests, police admit the invasion was nothing more than myth. The panic whimpers away to seclusion, only to resurrect itself just in time for the next big show.

Detectives from Dallas to Plano, Forth Worth to Irving saw no spikes in sex traffic or signs of the occupiers.

“Everybody else is talking about special operations, the AG comes in talking about special operations, but this is what we do,” says Sergeant Byron Fassett, head of the Dallas PD’s human trafficking unit. “We didn’t have to do a special operation. We do special operations all the time, and this was one of them.”

In other words, it was just another week of playing cat and mouse with the world’s oldest profession.

Arlington, host to the game, unleashed extra manpower and bagged an impressive 59 arrests. But it found scant evidence of erotic hordes. Of the 100,000 supposedly Lone Star-bound hookers, Deputy Chief Jaime Ayala says, only 13 were found by his guys. Their busts largely involved rousting the local talent.

ICE Spokesman Carl Rusnok says there were 105 prostitution arrests metro-wide. But what was billed as a bare-naked onslaught fell rather short. Just to reach three figures, ICE had to include 12 Class C misdemeanors—the legal equivalent of a speeding ticket.

Rusnok hints at more nefarious busts for human trafficking, but he refuses to provide names, charges or anything else that would allow for verification.

The 38,000 teen slaves also proved elusive. Police managed to find just two—and they were Texas-grown.

Anthony Winn, a 35-year-old degenerate from Austin, had been pimping out a 20-year-old woman when he decided to peddle her 14-year-old sister as well.

The trio showed up in Dallas for the big game. But the older sister objected to the selling of the younger one. So when Dallas police encountered them on the street, the women quickly ratted out Winn.

In Grapevine, another local was busted for chauffeuring a 17-year-old hooker on her rounds.

Meanwhile, church groups and activists were out en masse. But if they were truly aligned with God, He preferred they stick to generating headlines and hurling logs on the flames of panic. He apparently neglected to grant them the power of rescue. As far as anyone can tell, not one of their tips led to an arrest. Had anyone bothered to ask police in previous Super Bowl cities, they would have told you this would happen. There’s zero evidence that American hookers have ever traveled like Spanish armadas.

As for widespread sex slavery, this too is a myth. The U.S. government has known it for years.

Like most industrialized countries, the feds began worrying about human trafficking in the late ’90s, a fear born from the slavery problems of the Third World. At the time, evidence from police suggested it was an insidious, though relatively rare, crime. But that didn’t stop politicians and activists from declaring it a pandemic.

Out of thin air, they began to trumpet that 50,000 people were being forcibly trafficked in America each year. The

Clinton administration declared jihad. President George W. Bush dilated the war, creating 42 Justice Department task forces countrywide.

But when you weld a fabricated enemy, meager scalp counts leave boasting a challenge. Just like the soldiers of pre-Super Bowl Dallas, they had braced themselves for imaginary strife.

Six years into his presidency, Bush had burned through $150 million on the fray. But of the 300,000 supposed victims during that time, the Justice Department managed to find just 1,362. Less than half were actual sex slaves. An even smaller number were underage prostitutes.

That’s because human trafficking, as defined by the government, isn’t solely about sex. It’s usually about forced labor. Think of the Chinese man made to work in a kitchen to reimburse a snakehead’s smuggling fee. Or the Mexican kid forced to toil on a Kansas farm.

By the time anyone realized all that money was flowing for naught, no one was brave enough to tighten the spigot. In Washington, it’s far better to waste millions than give the appearance you don’t care about kids.

Steve Wagner knows this. He worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serving as director of the Human Trafficking Program under Bush. He threw millions of dollars at community groups to aid victims. Yet as he told the Washington Post in 2007, “Those funds were wasted….They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”

Ten years into the war, one might assume intellectual honesty would sand down the rhetoric. But the opposite is happening. The fight’s simply moved away from protecting women and children. It’s now a holy war for the sanctity of revenue streams.

The church and women’s groups who profited from battle are loath to acknowledge they spent the past decade doing little more than polishing their guns. So forgive them for worrying.

Recession has made donations harder to field. D.C.’s coming austerity means grants will be macheted. That’s left the nonprofit world in a panic.

It isn’t easy to get donors and congressmen to slap down checks for the time-honored fight against prostitution, runaways and kids seeking the fascinating life of a crack head.

So women’s and children’s groups simply decided to change their PR. Suddenly, prostitution was no longer about prostitution. It was all about sexual slavery and human trafficking. And they began blowing up their numbers with helium.

But maybe Traffick911’s Deena Graves is right. Perhaps God has called her and others to fight demons unseen by the re st of us. It’s just that he hasn’t given them the power to find all those victims. He does work in mysterious ways, after all.

–With Reporting by Patrick Michels

Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution

By Nick Davies – The Guardian News, Tuesday October 20, 
2009

The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.

The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.

While some prosecutions have been made, the Guardian investigation suggests the number of people who have been brought into the UK and forced against their will into prostitution is much smaller than claimed; and that the problem of trafficking is one of a cluster of factors which expose sex workers to coercion and exploitation.

Acting on the distorted information, the government has produced a bill, now moving through its final parliamentary phase, which itself has provoked an outcry from sex workers who complain that, instead of protecting them, it will expose them to extra danger.

When police in July last year announced the results of Operation Pentameter Two, Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, hailed it as “a great success”. Its operational head, Tim Brain, said it had seriously disrupted organised crime networks responsible for human trafficking. “The figures show how successful we have been in achieving our goals,” he said.

Those figures credited Pentameter with “arresting 528 criminals associated with one of the worst crimes threatening our society”.  But an internal police analysis of Pentameter, obtained by the Guardian after a lengthy legal struggle, paints a very different picture.

The analysis, produced by the police Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield and marked “restricted”, suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found in spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as “the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking”.

The analysis reveals that 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all.

Of the 406 real arrests, 153 had been released weeks before the police announced the success of the operation: 106 of them without any charge at all and 47 after being cautioned for minor offences. Most of the remaining 253 were not accused of trafficking: 73 were charged with immigration breaches; 76 were eventually convicted of non-trafficking offences involving drugs, driving or management of a brothel; others died, absconded or disappeared off police records.

Although police described the operation as “the culmination of months of planning and intelligence-gathering from all those stakeholders involved”, the reality was that, during six months of national effort, they found only 96 people to arrest for trafficking, of whom 67 were charged.

Forty-seven of those never made it to court.

Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking, including two women who had originally been “rescued” as supposed victims. Seven of them were acquitted. The end result was that, after raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women.

Police claimed that Pentameter used the international definition of sex trafficking contained in the UN’s Palermo protocol, which involves the use of coercion or deceit to transport an unwilling man or woman into prostitution. But, in reality, Pentameter used a very different definition, from the UK’s 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to transport a man or woman into prostitution even if this involves assisting a willing sex worker.

Internal police documents reveal that 10 of Pentameter’s 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes. These genuinely were traffickers, but none of them was detected by Pentameter, although its investigations are still continuing.

Two of them — Zhen Xu and Fei Zhang — had been in custody since March 2007, a clear seven months before Pentameter started work in October 2007.

The other three,  Ali Arslan, Edward Facuna and Roman Pacan,  were arrested and charged as a result of an operation which began when a female victim went to police in April 2006, well over a year before Pentameter Two began, although the arrests were made while Pentameter was running.

The head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, Grahame Maxwell, who is chief constable of North Yorkshire, acknowledged the importance of the figures: “The facts speak for themselves. I’m not trying to argue with them in any shape or form,” he said.

He said he had commissioned fresh research from regional intelligence units to try to get a clearer picture of the scale of sex trafficking. “What we’re trying to do is to get it gently back to some reality here,” he said.

“It’s not where you go down on every street corner in every street in Britain, and there’s a trafficked individual.

“There are more people trafficked for labour exploitation than there are for sexual exploitation. We need to redress the balance here. People just seem to grab figures from the air.”

Groups who work with trafficked women declined to comment on the figures from the Pentameter Two police operation but said that the problem of trafficking was real.

Ruth Breslin, research and development manager for Eaves which runs the Poppy project for victims of trafficking, said: “I don’t know the ins and outs of the police operation. It is incredibly difficult to establish prevalence because of the undercover and potentially criminal nature of trafficking and also, we feel, because of the fear that many women have in coming forward.”

The internal analysis of Pentameter notes that some records could not be found and Brain, who is chief constable of Gloucestershire, argued that some genuine traffickers may have been charged with non-trafficking offences because of the availability of evidence but he conceded that he could point to no case where this had happened.

He said the Sexual Offences Act was “not user friendly” although he said he could not recall whether he had pointed this out to government since the end of Pentameter Two.

Parliament is in the final stages of passing the policing and crime bill which contains a proposal to clamp down on trafficking by penalising any man who has sex with a woman who is “controlled for gain” even if the man is genuinely ignorant of the control. Although the definition of “controlled” has been tightened, sex workers’ groups complain that the clause will encourage women to prove that they are not being controlled by working alone on the streets or in a flat without a maid, thus making them more vulnerable to attack.

There are also fears that if the new legislation deters a significant proportion of customers, prostitutes will be pressurised to have sex without condoms in order to bring them back.

The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009

In the report above about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as “the police Human Trafficking Centre”. The UKHTC describes itself as “a multi-agency centre” and says that it is “police led”. Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.

Prostitution and trafficking – the anatomy of a moral panic

Nick Davies The Guardian News, Tuesday October 20, 2009

There is something familiar about the tide of misinformation which has swept through the subject of sex trafficking in the UK: it flows through exactly the same channels as the now notorious torrent about Saddam Hussein’s weapons.
In the story of UK sex trafficking, the conclusions of academics who study the sex trade have been subjected to the same treatment as the restrained reports of intelligence analysts who studied Iraqi weapons – stripped of caution, stretched to their most alarming possible meaning and tossed into the public domain. There, they have been picked up by the media who have stretched them even further in stories which have then been treated as reliable sources by politicians, who in turn provided quotes for more misleading stories.

In both cases, the cycle has been driven by political opportunists and interest groups in pursuit of an agenda. In the case of sex trafficking, the role of the neo-conservatives and Iraqi exiles has been played by an unlikely union of evangelical Christians with feminist campaigners, who pursued the trafficking tale to secure their greater goal, not of regime change, but of legal change to abolish all prostitution. The sex trafficking story is a model of misinformation. It began to take shape in the mid 1990s, when the collapse of economies in the old Warsaw Pact countries saw the working flats of London flooded with young women from eastern Europe. Soon, there were rumours and media reports that attached a new word to these women. They had been “trafficked”.

And, from the outset, that word was a problem. On a strict definition, eventually expressed in international law by the 2000 Palermo protocol, sex trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to transport an unwilling victim into sexual exploitation. This image of sex slavery soon provoked real public anxiety.

But a much looser definition, subsequently adopted by the UK’s 2003 Sexual Offences Act, uses the word to describe the movement of all sex workers, including willing professionals who are simply travelling in search of a better income. This wider meaning has injected public debate with confusion and disproportionate anxiety.

Two academics from the University of North London, Liz Kelly and Linda Regan, tried to estimate the number of women who had been trafficked in the UK during the calendar year 1998, an exercise which they honestly described as “problematic”.

First, there was the problem of the word, which Kelly and Regan solved by accepting all variations of its meaning. Then, there was the shortage of facts. They spoke to specialists, studied news reports and surveyed police, who reported that 71 women had been “trafficked”, whether willingly or not, during 1998. In Stopping Traffic, which they published in May 2000, Kelly and Regan argued that the real scale of the problem was probably bigger than this and, in the absence of any accurate data, they made various assumptions which they themselves described as “speculative”.

At the very least, they guessed, there could be another 71 trafficked women who had been missed by police, which would double the total, to 142. At the most, they suggested, the true total might be 20 times higher, at 1,420.

But reaching this figure involved a further quadrupling of the number of victims missed by police, plus quadrupling existing estimates by sex health workers, plus assuming the accuracy of a newspaper report that “hundreds” of women had been trafficked into the UK from Albania and Kosovo, plus assuming that mail-order brides were also victims of trafficking, plus adding women who were transported within the UK as well as those brought into the UK.

Kelly and Regan were transparent and honest about the speculative character of their assumptions. They were clear about their adoption of the widest possible meaning of the term. They presented their conclusion with caution: “It can be estimated that the true scale of trafficking may be between two and 20 times that which has been confirmed.”

And they presented their conclusion as a range of possibilities: “It is recognised that this is a wide range, but it indicates the likely scale of the problem while reflecting the poverty of information in this area.”

During the following years, the subject attracted the attention of religious groups, particularly the Salvation Army and an umbrella group of evangelicals called Churches Alert to Sex Trafficking Across Europe (Chaste). Chaste explicitly campaigned for an end to all prostitution and, quoting their commitment to the principles of the Kingdom of God, they were enlisted as specialist advisers to the police.

Chaste took the work of Kelly and Regan, brought the estimate forward by two years, stripped out all the caution, headed for the maximum end of the range and declared : “An estimated 1,420 women were trafficked into the UK in 2000 for the purposes of constrained prostitution.”

The misleading figure was repeated in news stories and adopted by politicians. Even the government’s Crimestoppers campaign recycled it. And over and over again, the absence of a definition in the original work was replaced with the certainty that this was about women who were forced to work against their will. Chaste spoke repeatedly about “sexual enslavement” and “sex slavery”.

Three years after the Kelly/Regan work was published, in 2003, a second team of researchers was commissioned by the Home Office to tackle the same area. They, too, were forced to make a set of highly speculative assumptions: that every single foreign woman in the “walk-up” flats in Soho had been smuggled into the country and forced to work as a prostitute; that the same was true of 75% of foreign women in other flats around the UK and of 10% of foreign women working for escort agencies. Crunching these percentages into estimates of the number of foreign women in the various forms of sex work, they came up with an estimate of 3,812 women working against their will in the UK sex trade.

Margin of error

The researchers ringed this figure with warnings. The data, they said, was “very poor” and quantifying the subject was “extremely difficult”. Their final estimate was “very approximate”, “subject to a very large margin of error” and “should be treated with great caution” and the figure of 3,812 “should be regarded as an upper bound”.

No chance. In June 2006, before the research had even been published, the then Home Office minister Vernon Coaker ignored the speculative nature of the assumptions behind the figure, stripped out all the caution, headed for the maximum end of the range and then rounded it up, declaring to an inquiry into sex trafficking by the Commons joint committee on human rights: “There are an estimated 4,000 women victims.”

The Christian charity Care announced: “In 2003, the Home Office estimated there were 4,000 women and girls in the UK at any one time that had been trafficked into forced prostitution.” The Salvation Army went further: “The Home Office estimated that in 2003 … there were at least 4,000 trafficked women residing in the UK. This figure is believed to be a massive underestimation of the problem.” Anti-Slavery International joined them, converting what the Home Office researchers had described as a “very approximate” estimate into “a very conservative estimate”.

The Home Office, at least, having commissioned the research, was in a position to remind everybody of its authors’ warnings. Except it didn’t.

In March 2007, it produced the UK Action Plan on Human Trafficking and casually reproduced the figure of 4,000 without any of the researchers’ cautions.

The evidence was left even further behind as politicians took up the issue as a rallying call for feminists. They were led by the Labour MP for Rotherham and former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane, who took to describing London as “Europe’s capital for under-aged trafficked sex slaves”. In a debate in the Commons in November 2007, MacShane announced that “according to Home Office estimates, 25,000 sex slaves currently work in the massage parlours and brothels of Britain.”

There is simply no Home Office source for that figure, although it has been reproduced repeatedly in media stories.

Two months later, in another Commons debate, MacShane used the same figure, but this time he attributed it to the Daily Mirror, which had indeed run a story in October 2005 with the headline “25,000 Sex Slaves on the Streets of Britain.” However, the newspaper had offered no evidence at all to support the figure. On the contrary, the body of its story used a much lower figure, of between 2,000 and 6,000 brought in each year, and attributed this to unnamed Home Office officials, even though the Home Office has never produced any research which could justify it.

MacShane was not deterred.

“I used to work for the Daily Mirror, so I trust the report,” he said.

Sources

The then solicitor general, Vera Baird, replied by warning MacShane that “we think that his numbers from the Daily Mirror are off” and then recycled the figure of 4,000 without any of the researchers’ cautions. MacShane then switched line and started to claim, for example in a letter to the Guardian in September 2008, that there were “18,000 women, often young girls, trafficked into Britain as sex slaves.” He used this same figure in another debate in the House of Commons, adding “We have to get the facts and figures right.”

On this occasion, the source he was quoting was Pentameter Two, the six-month national police operation which failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution. But MacShane had a point: presenting the results of the operation to the press in July 2008, its operational head, Tim Brain, the chief constable of Gloucester, was widely reported to have said that there were now 18,000 victims of trafficking in the UK and that this included under-age girls.

Other senior figures who were involved with this press conference say they were taken completely by surprise by Brain’s claim. “None of us knew where that came from,” according to one senior figure. “It wasn’t in his pre-brief. It wasn’t in anything: ministers weren’t briefed. Tim may have meant to say 1,800 and just got his figures mixed up.”

Brain now agrees that the figure is not correct and suggested to the Guardian that he had been trying to estimate the total number of prostitutes in the UK, not the total number of trafficked women.

But the damage had been done. Patrick Hall, Labour MP for Bedford, solemnly told the House of Commons that there was sex trafficking “in towns and villages throughout the land.”

Fiona Mactaggart, a former Home Office minister, in January 2008 outstripped MacShane’s estimates, telling the House of Commons that she regarded all women prostitutes as the victims of trafficking, since their route into sex work “almost always involves coercion, enforced addiction to drugs and violence from their pimps or traffickers.” There is no known research into UK prostitution which supports this claim.

In November 2008, Mactaggart repeated a version of the same claim when she told BBC Radio 4’s Today in Parliament that “something like 80% of women in prostitution are controlled by their drug dealer, their pimp, or their trafficker.” Again, there is no known source for this.

Challenged to justify this figure by a different Radio 4 programme, More or Less, in January 2009, Mactaggart claimed that it comes from the Home Office’s 2004 report on prostitution, Paying the Price. But there is no sign of the figure in the report.

In the summer of 2004, The Poppy Project, which is committed to ending all prostitution on the grounds that it “helps to construct and maintain gender inequality”, surveyed London prostitutes working in flats and found that 80% of them were foreign, a finding which is well supported. They then added, without any clear evidence, that “a large proportion of them are likely to have been trafficked into the country”, a conclusion which is challenged by specialist police, but which was then recycled through numerous media reports and political claims.

Last year (2008), Poppy published a report called The Big Brothel, which claimed to be the most comprehensive study ever conducted into brothels in the UK and which claimed to have found “indicators of trafficking in every borough of London”.

That report was subsequently condemned in a joint statement from 27 specialist academics who complained that it was “framed by a pre-existing political view of prostitution”. The academics said there were “serious flaws” in the way that data had been collected and analysed; that the reliability of the data was “extremely doubtful”; and that the claims about trafficking “cannot be substantiated.”

Illusion

But by that time, the report had generated a mass of news stories, most of which took the unreliable results and overstated them. Like Chaste, the Poppy Project, which has been paid nearly £6m to shelter trafficked women, has been drafted in to advise police and until recently used office space in the Sheffield headquarters of the UK Human Trafficking Centre.

The cacophony of voices has created the illusion of confirmation.

Politicians and religious groups still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. The Daily Mirror’s baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added : “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.”

Somewhere beneath all this, there is a reality. There have been real traffickers.

Since the Sexual Offences Act came into force in January 2004, internal police documents show that 46 men and women have been convicted and jailed for transporting willing sex workers and 59 people have been convicted for transporting women who were forced to work as prostitutes.

Ruth Breslin, research and development manager for Eaves, which runs the Poppy project, said: “I realise that the 25,000 figure, which is one that has been bandied about in the media, is one that doesn’t really have much of an evidence base and may be slightly subject to media hype. There is an awful lot of confusion in the media and other places between trafficking (unwilling victims) and smuggling (willing passengers). People do get confused and they are two very different things.”

She said that in the six and a half years since Poppy was founded, a total of 1,387 men and women had been referred to them, of whom they had taken in just over 500 women who they believed had been trafficked into sexual exploitation or domestic servitude by the use of coercion, deception or force. “I do think that there a lot more trafficked women out there than the women we see in our project. I do think there are significant numbers. I would say the figure is in the thousands. I don’t know about the tens of thousands. That’s probably going too far.”

Certainly there have been real victims, some of whom have been compensated as victims of crime. The internal analysis of Pentameter Two, obtained by the Guardian, reveals that after six months of raids across the UK, 11 women were finally “made safe”. This clashes with early police claims that Pentameter had rescued 351 victims. By the time that Brain held his press conference in July last year, that figure had been reduced to 167 victims who were said to have been “saved from lives of abuse, exploitation and misery”.

However, the internal analysis shows that supposed victims variously absconded from police, went home voluntarily, declined support, were removed by the UK Borders Agency or were prosecuted for various offences.

Dealing with this, the document explains: “The number of ‘potential victims’ has been refined as more informed decisions have been made about whether or not the individual is believed to be a victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation … Initial considerations were made on limited information … When interviewed, the potential victim may make it clear that they are not in fact a victim of trafficking and/or inquiries may make it clear that they are not and/or inquiries may show that initial consideration was based on false or incomplete information.”

Research published recently by Dr Nick Mai of London Metropolitan University, concludes that, contrary to public perception, the majority of migrant sex workers have chosen prostitution as a source of “dignified living conditions and to increase their opportunities for a better future while dramatically improving the living conditions of their families in the country of origin”. After detailed interviews with 100 migrant sex workers in the UK, Mai found: “For the majority, working in the sex industry was a way to avoid the exploitative working conditions they had met in their previous non-sexual jobs.”

The UK Network of Sex Work Projects, whose outreach workers deal with thousands of prostitutes, told the home affairs select committee last year: “It is undoubtedly the case that women are trafficked into the sex industry. However, the proportion of sex workers of whom this is true is relatively small, both compared to the sex industry as a whole and to other industries.” The chairman of that committee, Keith Vaz, observed: “We are told that this is the second largest problem facing the globe after drugs and we do not seem to be able to find the people responsible.”

For the police, the misinformation has succeeded in diverting resources away from other victims. Specialist officers who deal with trafficking have told the Guardian that although they will continue to monitor all forms of trafficking, they are now shifting their priority away from the supposed thousands of sex slaves towards the movement within the UK of children who are being sexually abused. They say they are also dealing with more cases where illegal migrant workers of all kinds, including willing sex workers, find themselves being ripped off and overcharged for their transport.

Unheard

However, the key point is that on the sidelines of a debate which has been dominated by ideology, a chorus of alarm from the prostitutes themselves is singing out virtually unheard. In the cause of protecting “thousands” of victims of trafficking, Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader and minister for women and equality, has led the parliamentary campaign for a law to penalise men who pay for sex with women who are “controlled for gain” even if the men do so in genuine ignorance.

Repeatedly, prostitutes groups have argued that the proposal is as wrong as the trafficking estimates on which it is based, and that it will aggravate every form of jeopardy which they face in their work, whether by encouraging them to work alone in an attempt to show that they are free of control or by pressurising them to have sex without condoms to hold on to worried customers. Thus far, their voices remain largely ignored by news media and politicians who, once more, have been swept away on a tide of misinformation.

• This article was amended on Thursday 19 November 2009. We said that the Poppy Project had an office in the Sheffield headquarters of the UK Human Trafficking Centre. That is no longer the case. This has been corrected.

Women’s Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science. Schapiro Group data wasn’t questioned by mainstream media

By Nick Pinto of Village Voice Media

published: March 23, 2011

ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CRAIGSLIST told Congress on September 15 that the ubiquitous Web classifieds site was closing its adult section. Under intense scrutiny from the government and crusading advocacy groups, as well as state attorneys general, owner Craig Newmark memorably applied the label “Censored” in his classifieds where adult advertising once appeared.

During the same September hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary, members of Congress listened to vivid and chilling accounts regarding underage prostitution.

The congressmen heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women’s Funding Network. She told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.

“An independent tracking study released today by the Women’s Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states,” Richardson claimed. “Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase.”

In the wake of this bombshell revelation, Richardson’s disturbing figures found their way into some of the biggest newspapers in the country. USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Detroit Free Press all repeated the dire statistics as gospel.

The successful assault on Craigslist was followed by a cross-country tour by Richardson and the Women’s Funding Network.

None of the media that published Richardson’s astonishing numbers bothered to examine the study at the heart of her claim. If they had, they would have found what we did after asking independent experts to examine the research: It’s junk science.

After all, the numbers are all guesses.

The data are based merely on looking at photos on the Internet. There is no science.

Eric Grodsky, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who teaches about proper research construction, says that the study is fundamentally flawed.

“The method’s not clean,” Grodsky says. “You couldn’t get this kind of thing into a peer-reviewed journal. There are just too many unanswered questions about their methodology.”

Ric Curtis, the chairman of the Anthropology Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, led a Justice Department-funded study on juvenile prostitution in New York City in 2008. He’s highly skeptical of the claims in the Women’s Funding Network’s study.

“I wouldn’t trust those numbers,” Curtis says. “This new study seems pretty bogus.”

In fact, the group behind the study admits as much. It’s now clear they used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding.

“We pitch it the way we think you’re going to read it and pick up on it,” says Kaffie McCullough, the director of Atlanta-based anti-prostitution group A Future Not a Past. “If we give it to you with all the words and the stuff that is actually accurate—I mean, I’ve tried to do that with our PR firm, and they say, ‘They won’t read that much.'”

A Future Not a Past is a product of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, the Juvenile Justice Fund, and Harold and Kayrita Anderson’s foundation. To measure the amount of juvenile prostitution in the state, the consortium hired the Schapiro Group, an Atlanta business-consulting operation.

The Schapiro Group members weren’t academic researchers, and had no prior experience studying prostitution. In fact, the group was best known for research paid for by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The study found—surprise—that membership in the Chamber of Commerce improves a business’s image.

The consultants came up with a novel, if not very scientific, method for tabulating juvenile prostitutes: They counted pictures of young-looking women on online classified sites.

“That’s one of the first problems right there,” Grodsky says. “These advertisers are in the business of making sales, and there’s a market for young-looking women. Why would you trust that the photographs are accurate?”

In other words, the ads, like the covers of women’s magazines, are relentlessly promoting fantasy. Anyone who has tried online dating understands the inherent trouble with trusting photographs.

Even if the person placing the advertisement is the one in the picture, there’s no telling how old the photo is, says David Finkelhor, the director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

“How do you know when the pictures were taken?” Finkelhor asks. “It’s not illegal for an 18-year-old who’s selling sex to put up a picture of herself from when she was 16.”

And if, for the sake of argument, the photos were an accurate portrayal, how do you train those viewing the photographs to guess the correct age?

In fact, you don’t.

Before conducting its full study, the Schapiro Group tested the accuracy of its method in a sample of 100 observers. At one point, the 100 observers are described as a “random sample.” Elsewhere, they are described as “balanced by race and gender.”

These 100 adults were shown pictures of teenagers and young adults whose ages were known, and were asked to guess whether they were younger than 18.

“The study showed that any given ‘young’ looking girl who is selling sex has a 38 percent likelihood of being under age 18,” reads a crucial passage in the explanation of methodology. “Put another way, for every 100 ‘young’ looking girls selling sex, 38 are under 18 years of age. We would compute this by assigning a value of .38 to each of the 100 ‘young’ girls we encounter, then summing the values together to achieve a reliable count.”

This is dense gibberish posing as statistical analysis.

When the team went on to conduct its full statewide study, it simply treated this 38 percent success rate as a constant. Six new observers were then turned loose to count “young-looking” sex ads on online classifieds sites like Craigslist and Backpage.

That total count was then multiplied by .38 to come up with a guesstimate of how many children were being trafficked.

“This is a logical fallacy,” says Steve Doig, the Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University, who reviewed the study at our request. “Consider this analogy: Imagine that 100 people were shown pictures of various automobiles and asked to identify the make, and that 38 percent of the time people misidentified Fords as Chevrolets. Using the Schapiro logic, this would mean that 38 percent of Fords on the street actually are Chevys.”

But the Georgia sponsors were happy with the results—after all, the scary-sounding study agreed with what they were saying all along. So the Women’s Funding Network paid Schapiro to dramatically expand the study to include Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. (Georgia’s Kayrita Anderson sits on the board of the Women’s Funding Network)

The Women’s Funding Network says it would ultimately like to have the study running in all 50 states.

The count of online classifieds featuring “young women” is repeated every three months to track how the numbers change over time. That’s the source of the claim of a 64 percent increase in child prostitution in Minnesota in a matter of months.

But that’s not how a scientific study is supposed to work, says Finkelhor.

“They don’t tell you what the confidence intervals are, so these changes could just be noise,” he says. “When the Minnesota count goes from 102 to 112, that’s probably just random fluctuations.”

There’s a more fundamental issue, of course.

“The trend analysis is simply a function of the number of images on these sites,” Finkelhor says. “It’s not necessarily an indication that there’s an increase in the number of juveniles involved.”

Despite these flaws, the Women’s Funding Network, which held rallies across the nation, has been flogging the results relentlessly through national press releases and local member organizations. In press releases, the group goes so far as to compare its conjured-up data to actual hard numbers for other social ills.

“Monthly domestic sex trafficking in Minnesota is more pervasive than the state’s annually reported incidents of teen girls who died by suicide, homicide, and car accidents (29 instances combined); infants who died from SIDS (6 instances); or women of all ages murdered in one year (37 instances),” reads the study.

Of course, those other figures are rigorously compiled medical and law-enforcement records of actual documented incidents, so it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

The police who tally many of those actual statistics—as well as records of real face-to-face encounters with juvenile prostitutes—don’t seem to be very impressed by the statistics put forward by the Women’s Funding Network.

“The methodology that they used doesn’t really show the numbers that back it up,” says Sgt. John Bandemer, who heads the Vick Human Trafficking Task Force in St. Paul. “We take it with a grain of salt.”

The experts we consulted all agreed the Schapiro Group’s published methodology raises more questions than it answers. So we went to the Schapiro Group to ask them.

Beth Schapiro founded the Schapiro Group in 1984, starting out mostly with political consulting. The bulk of the group’s work, Schapiro says, consists of public opinion research. In 2007, the group installed its own phone-banking center, and the group’s website advertises services ranging from customer satisfaction surveys to “voter persuasion calls.”

Counting hard-to-find exploitation victims wasn’t exactly in the company’s repertoire when it was asked by A Future Not a Past to devise a study on juvenile prostitution in 2007, but Schapiro jumped at the opportunity.

The Georgia studies included efforts to count juvenile prostitutes on the street, at hotels, and in escort services, but they also marked the debut of the problematic online classifieds study that would later be reproduced in other states.

In a phone call this month, Schapiro insisted that her study was the first effort ever to try to scientifically determine the number of juvenile prostitutes—a claim that would likely surprise the authors of dozens of previous studies, several of which are footnoted in her own report.

When we asked Schapiro and Rusty Parker, the leader of the classifieds study, to fill in some of the missing pieces in their methodology, they had a hard time coming up with straight answers. In fact, Parker couldn’t remember key information about how he constructed the study. When asked where he got the sample pictures used to calibrate the all-important 38 percent error rate, he wasn’t sure.

“It was a while back,” he says. “I forget exactly where we got them from.”

Parker was equally fuzzy on how the researchers knew the ages of the people pictured in the control group.

“Um…I’m afraid I do not remember,” he says.

You might say that this is important information. The Schapiro group has been telling the world that it cracked the alchemical code that transforms dumb guesses into hard statistics, and that the magic number is .38. But the leader of the study can’t remember the procedure he followed to get that number.

Neither Schapiro nor Parker had any answers when asked if there was any empirical reason to believe their two critical assumptions: that online photos always represent what the prostitutes actually look like, and that the six handpicked observers conducting the state studies have exactly the same error rate as the initial test batch of 100 random citizens.

Instead, Schapiro beat a hasty retreat, saying the study results shouldn’t be read as actual incidents of prostitution.

“We’re the first to tell you, this is not a precise count of the number of girls being prostituted,” Schapiro said. “We make no bones about that.”

Of course, a precise count of the number of girls being prostituted is exactly what the statistics are being presented as in the media, in press releases, and in Schapiro’s own study. When this is pointed out, Schapiro reverses herself.

“Well, yes, these are specific numbers,” Schapiro backpedals. “And yes, they are hard numbers, and they are numbers that we stand completely behind.”

This is the kind of cognitive whiplash you have to endure if you try to follow Schapiro down the rabbit hole. The numbers have the weight of fact and can properly be cited as actual incidents of juvenile prostitution, she insists. But when pressed to justify the broad and unsupported assumptions of her study, she says the study is just a work in progress and the numbers are only approximations.

Schapiro’s grasp on empirical rigor is such that when asked point-blank to choose between her two contradictory interpretations—estimates or facts—she opts for “all of the above.”

“I would square the circle by saying that you can look at them both ways,” she says.

Any reporter who had read the methodology of the Schapiro report would have been left with doubts, and any reporter who followed up would probably have been treated to the same baffling circuit of non-answers. The fact that the study’s findings continue to be rebroadcast in news outlets across the country suggests that not one reporter has bothered to read the study about which they are writing.

“You see this kind of thing a lot, unfortunately,” says Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute who writes frequently about statistics. “The kind of skepticism that reporters apply to a statement by a politician just doesn’t get applied to studies.”

David Finkelhor at the Crimes Against Children Research Center says he understands the pressure on reporters to cite figures when they’re writing about juvenile prostitution, but it’s something they need to resist, because despite what groups like the Women’s Funding Network would have you believe, there simply are no good statistics.

“You have to say, ‘We don’t know. Estimates have been made, but none of them have a real scientific basis to them,'” Finkelhor says. “All you can say is, ‘This is the number the police know about, and we think there are more than that, but we don’t know how many more.'”

In her own online photos, the woman who commissioned the Schapiro Group study looks to be in her 50s, with blue eyes, graying hair, and a taste for dangly earrings.

Kaffie McCullough first approached the Schapiro Group about conducting a study of juvenile prostitution in Georgia in 2007 when, as director of A Future Not a Past, she realized that having scientific-sounding numbers makes all the difference in the world.

In early 2007, McCullough approached the Georgia Legislature to ask for money for a regional assessment center to track juvenile prostitution.

“We had no research, no nothing. The legislators didn’t even know about it,” she recalls. “We got a little bit. We got about 20 percent of what we asked for.”

Later that year, the first Schapiro Group counts were made, and when McCullough returned to the Legislature the following session, she had the study’s statistics in hand.

“When we went to the Legislature with those counts, it gave us traction—night and day,” she says. “That year, we got all the rest of that money, plus we got a study commission.”

McCullough touts the fundraising benefits of the study whenever she can. Since the Schapiro study was picked up for replication nationwide by the Women’s Funding Network, McCullough has acted as a sort of technical consultant for state groups as they debate whether to invest money in the project. Whenever she’s asked, McCullough tells the local groups that the money they spend will come back to them with hefty dividends.

“I would say, ‘The research costs money, but we’ve been able to broker—I don’t know what it is now, I think it’s over $1.3, $1.6 million in funding that we never would have gotten,'” McCullough says.

McCullough initially maintained that she stands by the Schapiro Group study, in part because she has been told that “it is the same scientific methodology that science has been using for a long time to measure endangered species.”

But when pressed on whether she really believes that counting Internet photos is reliable, she grants the sex-work industry isn’t exactly the gold standard of truth in advertising.

“That’s absolutely correct,” she says. “That’s part of how that business operates: It’s a bait-and-switch.”

And given the tricky nature of the photographs, she admits that counting pictures isn’t exactly a precise way to measure juvenile prostitutes.

“I can’t guarantee that any picture that four of those six people said looked young—that may not be the girl that you’d get if you called up,” she concedes.

Asked if she has any reason to believe that the six observers in the study have the identical 38 percent error rate as the 100 random citizens who were the initial test subjects, she allows that it might be worth revisiting that question.

The basic truth is that the study exists in service of the advocacy, and if news outlets present the Schapiro Group’s numbers as gospel, it certainly doesn’t hurt the advocates’ cause.

Admitting that there isn’t any authoritative scientific count of juvenile prostitution, as Finkelhor recommends, isn’t an option in McCullough’s book. She recalls an early presentation she made in Nebraska, when a politician gave her a piece of advice that stuck.

“He said, ‘If you all as a movement don’t start having numbers, you are going to lose the money,'” McCullough recalls. “‘How can you justify millions of dollars when there are only hundreds of victims that you’re actually serving?'”

Last week, on March 16, the drumbeat continued in the U.S. Senate with a briefing on domestic minor sex trafficking that featured Hollywood actress Mira Sorvino and the startling statistic that 100,000 children are trafficked for sex annually in America.

Trafficking, in labor and sex, became a defining issue in the administration of President George W. Bush. But as an investigation by the Washington Post in 2007 revealed, victims in the sex trade were difficult to come by.

Today, advocates have shifted media attention to allegations of trafficking in children.

But facts to suggest a plague of underage perversion simply do not exist despite claims to the contrary.

In a deficit-obsessed Congress, there is a long line of those seeking tax dollars to raise awareness of trafficking: government agencies, nonprofits, religious groups, the well-intentioned, as well as abolitionists opposed to everything from pornography to adult services.

It is no surprise that some seek to use children as a wedge.

Responsible parties prosecute predators and rescue victims. Not everyone with a microphone is responsible.

The challenge of keeping children out of the hands of exploiters is real but solutions are not clear in an atmosphere of hyped hysteria.

Interview with Kaffie McCullough of  “A future not a past” on why she used made up statistics on Sex Trafficking:

The following article is written by Menstuff.org

http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/sexslaves.html

“Tonight our cameras take you into a dark world you’ve never seen,” intoned John Quinones darkly on last week’s edition of ABC Primetime. “American girls being snatched right off Main Street USA. And they could be your very own daughters.” Shocking! The program went on to tell about two Arizona teens ñ both white and girl-next-door cute, who purportedly were minding their own business before being snatched from home and coerced into prostitution. Or “trafficking,” as Primetime put it. That was the show’s point: We already know that impoverished immigrants from the Eastern Europe and Mexico are enslaved here, but now we’ve got a new problem, the trafficking of our own, middle-class girls. Shocking! The show was full of dire warnings by government officials. Not surprising, since the Bush Administration’s mission to find foreign “sex trafficking” victims has gone belly up since it began in 2001. Almost no victims have been located, but the feds want to keep their law and rhetoric afloat and broaden it to other areas, including the culture wars. For ballast, they’re trolling for a domestic demographic, warning that kids and prostitution is a new “trafficking” problem.

But the claim is specious. To make it, you have to play with language and omit facts ñ or bend them so far that they break. That’s what Primetime did, Thursday, February 9, with two teens, one pseudonymed “Debbie,” and the other called by her real name, Miya.

Miya, according to ABC, was working in an Arizona mall when she was approached by a couple who asked if she’d like to come with them to California and be a model. She agreed, and before she knew it, she was being forcibly pimped through an Internet escort service and terrorized into sex slavery. One morning she managed to escape from the seedy hotel she was imprisoned in. Authorities were notified. Now one of her captors is in jail awaiting trial.

That’s the Primetime version, but the “sex slave” part is a hoax. Police in Mesa, Arizona and Union City, California, say that Miya — who was 19 and thus legally an adult — willingly went to California and willingly had sex, both with the couple she was with and with others. Said Tom Haselton, investigating sergeant for the case in Union City, “I can understand the family might be embarrassed and want to tell a different story. But by the time we were done talking with [Miya] we determined that what she did was consensual. There was no force used on her and she had plenty of opportunities to leave. And when she did leave, who did she call? Not the police, but a friend, just saying she wanted to get home to Arizona.” No charges regarding Miya were filed. The man she’d been with was charged because the female member of the couple was 16 — underage. Creepy, exploitative and illegal, but she wasn’t coerced either. “She seemed to be in love with the pimp,” says Haselton. “It’s an age-old story.”

Primetime’s other example of a “sex trafficked” teen, 15-year-old Debbie, is the alleged victim of some truly horrible assaults, and police don’t contest this. Even so, Primetime left out details of the case, making it seem more novel than it is. Debbie has said she was held at gunpoint in a Phoenix apartment and threatened with death and harm to her family unless she had sex with dozens of men. Often she was stuffed by her captors into a dog carrier and a bed frame. Her ordeal lasted over six weeks until she managed to sneak a call to her mother. Then she was rescued, and returned to what Primetime called her “close-knit” family. She’d been separated from them in the first place, Primetime reported, when she was “snatched” ñ as host John Quinones put it — right off her front lawn. That happened when a girl she knew only casually drove up to Debbie’s suburban house. Debbie stepped out of the house wearing Sponge-Bob pajamas. Suddenly she was pushed into the car and kidnapped.

But Phoenix Police Department press releases describe Debbie as a runaway. Police spokesman Andy Hill told me earlier this week that she was having problems with her family. She left home willingly with a friend, the girlfriend of a pimp, and a few hours later was herself dragooned into prostitution. Debbie’s is a story of gross coercion, but clearly there’s some background here. The vast majority of US kids who get involved with prostitution are runaways; this has been so for a very long time. That fact makes for yet another stale story. So it was left out of Primetime’s because it didn’t fit the boogie-man theme pushed these days when sex trafficking gets discussed — in the media and lately by the feds as well.

In that telling, little children are enslaved right in plain sight. Four-year olds are passed to pedophiles at Disneyland, 11-year-olds in communion dresses are sold to Mexican farmworker perverts. Despite ample evidence that these stories are urban myths, the New York Times Magazine cited them anyway and conjured dozens of child sex slaves in a piece by Peter Landesman that the magazine ran two years ago. Its title? “The Girls Next Door.” And last fall, the Lifetime television network ran a much- publicized drama in which a prepubescent white girl is kidnapped off the streets by a hi-tech trafficking ring that operates all across the globe and plans to sell her to “the Saudis.” This despite the fact that no such rings are known to exist.

Paranoid “white slavery” crusades date back to 19th-century England and America. Back then they promoted anti-immigrant and racist sentiments against Jews and others scapegoated for being kidnappers and panderers. They drove prostitutes who had heretofore worked independently into the hands of pimps. Meanwhile, they did virtually nothing to end prostitution.

Now, white-slave panic is being reincarnated by the federal government. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was launched five years ago with much fanfare from evangelicals in the Bush administration, feminists (many of who earlier worked with conservatives to try to outlaw pornography), and liberals concerned about forced-labor trafficking in general. Proponents predicted that thousands of forcibly sex-trafficked immigrant women would be found. Instead, a couple of hundred have turned up, at most.

But there are plenty of U.S.citizens who spend a little or a lot of time in prostitution. Quite a few are minors — as many as 300,000, estimates the new TVPA, which was enthusiastically rolled out by President Bush at a ceremony in January. Legally speaking, minors are always considered victims, even if they are not coerced. The new TVPA earmarks funds to label them as sex slaves.

No matter that most of these new “trafficking” victims are runaways and throwaways: often minorities, often poor, and often gay. No matter that they are seldom kidnapped or forced into prostitution, rarely fit the image of the girl next door, usually don’t think of themselves as “trafficking victims,” and typically distrust the police. No matter that we lack social services for them so they can live on their own and thrive if home is unbearable. These children are just an old story. They’re not ready for prime time.

But they are ready to fuel a movement most of the public hasn’t heard of yet. The domestic trafficking language of the TVPA was lifted from another piece of legislation, the “End Demand Act.” That bill aims to crack down on all prostitution in the U.S., by defining every bit of it as “domestic sex trafficking,” even when it’s between consenting adults. End Demand is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX (who recently equated gay marriage with humans copulating with box turtles). The act has bipartisan support but has not yet been passed. End Demand’s wording about minors, however, was imported into the latest TVPA.

The government has not yet turned consensual adult prostitution into a federal crime. But last summer, the feds and other organizations, many of who have supported the End Demand Act and the new TVPA, started working the zeitgeist by pitching to the media about American kiddie slaves on Main Street. Primetime responded. Defending last week’s story, ABC spokeswoman Paige Capossela said that “Our producers found two cases that illustrate what the FBI, other law enforcement and child protection agencies described to us as trafficking.” That’s a nice excuse for some high yellow journalism. And, no doubt, for some high Nielsen ratings as well.

Ashton Kutcher Demi Moore and sex trafficking

What is interesting is that Ashton (in his response below the article)  refers to Adult women over the age of 18 as girls or (children) who cannot think for themselves. So the government must think for them. And need to be protected from evil adult men. (of course all men are evil in the eyes of Ashton and Demi)

Real Men Get Their Facts Straight
Ashton and Demi and Sex Trafficking
By Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin, Kristen Hinman

Village Voice Newspaper
published: June 29, 2011

“It’s between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today,” Ashton Kutcher told CNN’s Piers Morgan on April 18. That, says Kutcher, is how many kids are lost to prostitution in America every single year. “If you don’t do something to stop that, that’s when there is something wrong with you, in my opinion.”

“We want to make a difference with this,” chimed in Kutcher’s wife, Demi Moore. “We don’t want to just come and talk about it. We want to actually see a change, and that’s not going to come by us just, you know, jumping in and doing a little bit and coming and talking.”

In order to “make a difference,” Kutcher and Moore recently launched a series of public service announcements under the banner “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.” In the spots, Kutcher plays a scruffy doofus who’d rather toss out his smelly socks and put on a pair fresh from the package than do a load of laundry. “Real men do their own laundry,” an off-camera voice booms. “Real men don’t buy girls.”

The message is somewhat bewildering, given the lack of context, but there are more like it, all part of a campaign featuring celebrities Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, and Jason Mraz doing cartoonishly manly things, such as trying to shave with a chainsaw and find a car while blindfolded in a parking lot.

Along with his wife, Kutcher, the titular dude of Dude, Where’s My Car?, has become the public face of an effort to stop underage trafficking since leaving That ’70s Show and Punk’d.

The PSAs have made some observers scratch their heads and others guffaw. Ostensibly about an intense issue—childhood sex slavery—the videos reek of frat-boy humor.

“Is it just me or is there, like, no connection whatsoever between Sean Penn making a grilled cheese with an iron (manly!) and the horrific situation of someone paying for an enslaved 7-year-old to give them a blowjob?” wrote a blogger on TheStir.com.

A blogger for Big Hollywood suggested viewers “sit back and take in a full year’s supply of empty-headed, self-important Hollywood narcissism.”

But the point isn’t that the PSAs are fatuous and silly.

The real issue is that no one has called out Kutcher and Moore for their underlying thesis.

There are not 100,000 to 300,000 children in America turning to prostitution every year. The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman.

But well-intentioned Hollywood celebrities aren’t the only ones pushing this particular hot button.

The underage-prostitution panic has been fueled by a scientific study that was anything but scientific.

The thinly veiled fraud behind the shocking “100,000 to 300,000 child prostitutes” estimate has never been questioned.

The figure has echoed across America, from the halls of Congress to your morning newspaper, from blogs both liberal and conservative. Google it and you’ll get 80 pages of results.

Last month, the New York Times breathlessly confided, “An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 American-born children are sold for sex each year.”

The Gray Lady was not breaking new ground.

• USA Today: “Each year, 100,000 to 300,000 American kids, some as young as 12…”

• CNN: “There’s between 100,000 to 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States…”

• Media Bistro: “There are an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 victims of child prostitution…”

• Salon: “Roughly 100,000 to 300,000 American children are prostituted each year…”

• Family Court Chronicles: “Nationwide, 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation…”

• Wikipedia: “Anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation…”

• U.N. goodwill ambassador Julia Ormond: “100,000 to 300,000 potentially trafficked…”

• Press TV: “Child trafficking rampant in the U.S. An FBI bulletin shows that 100,000 to 300,000 American children…”

• Orphan Justice Center: “An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children in forced prostitution in the U.S….”

• C-SPAN: “Children in our country enslaved sexually…from 100,000 to 300,000…”

But a detailed review of police files across the nation tells another story.

Village Voice Media spent two months researching law enforcement data.

We examined arrests for juvenile prostitution in the nation’s 37 largest cities during a 10-year period.

To the extent that underage prostitution exists, it primarily exists in those large cities.

Law enforcement records show that there were only 8,263 arrests across America for child prostitution during the most recent decade.

That’s 827 arrests per year.

Some cities, such as Salt Lake City and Orlando, go an entire year without busting a child prostitute. Others, such as Las Vegas, arrest or recover 100 or so per year.

Compare 827 annually with the 100,000 to 300,000 per year touted in the propaganda.

The nation’s 37 largest cities do not give you every single underage arrest for hooking. Juveniles can go astray in rural Kansas.

But common sense prevails in the police data. As you move away from such major urban areas as Los Angeles, underage prostitution plunges.

When the local police data was shared with a leading figure in the struggle against underage prostitution, the research struck her as ringing true.

“The Seattle Police Department totally have a handle on the situation and understand the problem,” says Melinda Giovengo, executive director of YouthCare, which runs a live-in shelter for underage prostitutes in Seattle. “That seems to be a very accurate count and is reflective of what the data shows.”

It is true that police departments do not arrest every juvenile engaged in sex work. But, surely, they don’t ignore the problem.

So, if there are slightly more than 800 underage arrests a year, where did an estimate as horrible as several hundred thousand come from?

There are, quite simply, no precise numbers on child prostitution.

The “100,000 to 300,000″ figure that people like Kutcher and Moore trumpet—the same number that’s found its way into dozens of reputable newspapers—came from two University of Pennsylvania professors, Richard J. Estes and Neil Alan Weiner.

But what no newspaper has bothered to explain—and what Moore and Kutcher certainly don’t mention—is that the figure actually represents the number of children Estes and Weiner considered “at risk” for sexual exploitation, not the number of children actually involved.

Furthermore, the authors of The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, released in 2001, admitted that their statistics are not authoritative.

“The numbers presented in these exhibits do not, therefore, reflect the actual number of cases in the United States but, rather, what we estimate to be the number of children ‘at risk’ of commercial sexual exploitation,” they wrote, underlining their words for emphasis.

Who, then, is at risk?

Not surprisingly, the professors find that any “outsider” is at risk.

All runaways are listed as being at risk.

Yet the federal government’s own research acknowledges that “most runaway/thrown-away youth were gone less than one week (77 percent)”—hardly enough time to take up prostitution—”and only 7 percent were away more than one month,” according to the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children 2002, commissioned by the Department of Justice.

According to Estes and Weiner, transgender kids and female gang members are also at risk.

So are kids who live near the Mexican or Canadian borders and have their own transportation. In the eyes of the professors, border residents are part of those 100,000 to 300,000 children at risk of becoming whores.

Interviewed for this story, Estes offers an explanation about the risk of living on the border that hardly wins points.

“All you have to do is go to San Diego and look at who fills the San Diego trolley going to Tijuana on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and it’s very, very obvious that the kids are on the way to Tijuana to make money, and they come back Sunday totally stocked,” he says. “They go there for cheap drugs, cheap money, cheap sex—[Tijuana’s] full of everything. And that’s using public transit, right to the border station.”

Rather than taking a trolley to engage in prostitution in a third-world city like Tijuana, isn’t it possible that kids from San Diego might simply want a cold Corona south of the border?

Such broad brushstrokes by professors have not endeared the study to such serious social scientists as David Finkelhor, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and director of Crimes Against Children Research Center. Finkelhor’s work is cited in the University of Pennsylvania study, and he helped review the report—not that he could’ve changed the direction of it.

“As far as I’m concerned, [the University of Pennsylvania study] has no scientific credibility to it,” he says. “That figure was in a report that was never really subjected to any kind of peer review. It wasn’t published in any scientific journal.”

Rigorous peer review, as is required for most scientific publishing, could have really helped the study, he says.

“Initially, [Estes and Weiner] claimed that [100,000 to 300,000] was the number of children [engaged in prostitution]. It took quite a bit of pressure to get them to add the qualifier [at risk],” he says.

Professor Steve Doig, Knight Chair of Journalism at Arizona State University, said the “study cannot be relied upon as authoritative.”

As for the supposed number of children being exploited as prostitutes, Doig says, “I do not see the evidence necessary to confirm that there are hundreds of thousands of them.”

Doig, who specializes in the analysis of quantitative methodology, was contracted by Village Voice Media to examine the science behind the Estes and Weiner study.

“Many of the numbers and assumptions in these charts are based on earlier, smaller-scale studies done by other researchers, studies which have their own methodological limitations. I won’t call it ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ But combining various approximations and guesstimates done under a variety of conditions doesn’t magically produce a solid number. The resulting number is no better than the fuzziest part of the equation.”

When asked directly, Estes gives an estimate that is much less dramatic.

How many kids are involved in sex slavery—forcibly taken into the trade and abused?

“That number would be small,” Estes acknowledges. “Kids who are kidnapped and sold into slavery—that number would be very small.”

When we talk about very small, what sort of number are we talking about?

“We’re talking about a few hundred people.”

Finkelhor says there’s no way to know for sure how many child prostitutes there are in America.

“All we have in the way of really hard evidence is what the police arrests are,” he says. “They’re way low. They’re certainly not an underestimate, but it seems to me that it’s incumbent on anyone who is writing about the problem to at least include that number on one end of the continuum, because that’s probably the most justifiable number you have.”

Ashton Kutcher owns one of the most-followed Twitter accounts in the world. His @aplusk handle famously beat CNN to a race to 1 million and never slowed down—he’s now at 7 million followers and counting. He is a technically literate, if ill-informed, advocate.

Kutcher made his bones playing the prankster, dummy, and stoner.

Yet he’s become so powerful that Piers Morgan, the British TV personality who replaced Larry King as CNN’s go-to interviewer, had Kutcher and Moore on his show in April to spread the gospel.

Morgan quickly acknowledged Kutcher and Moore’s Twitter throw weight, begging the couple to direct a few new followers toward him.

“It would be completely remiss of me to have two people who are the king and queen of Twitter to not selfishly use you for my own devices and get you to get my follower count up,” he says. “So, just a little favor for little old Piersy, with his half a million followers… If you could just look at the camera and tell your followers—your 10 million followers—to follow good old @PiersMorgan.”

The story of how Kutcher and Moore decided to use their star power to wage a battle against child prostitution helps illuminate how a social problem, of whatever magnitude, becomes a cause and how phony numbers take on the authority of folk wisdom.

The actors were watching TV in bed when they saw a horrifying documentary about sex slavery in some faraway foreign land and decided they needed to get involved.

But how to help?

Sex trafficking is a grim problem, and not one actors know a lot about—even if Moore played a stripper in a movie and has alluded to how she was “manipulated and taken advantage of” by a 28-year-old boyfriend when she was 15 years old.

So Kutcher and Moore did what any savvy Hollywood couple would do, which is call Trevor Neilson. Neilson isn’t a household name, but he’s quickly establishing his Santa Monica, California-based Global Philanthropy Group as the premier charity consultant to the entertainment industry’s biggest and brightest. Neilson is a former Hillary Clinton staffer and Gates Foundation director who has been the subject of glowing profiles in Details and the New York Times.

“The king of Hollywood philanthropy” and his wife and business partner, Maggie, can charge up to $200,000 a year for their services because they’re the best in a new and growing industry. The concept of a celebrity charity consultant is relatively new, but it makes sense, as Hollywood grows ever more concerned about image management. Neilson is the guy Madonna called to help her save face in the debacle surrounding her failed Malawi schools.

The Neilsons cooked up a 140-point “secret sauce” plan of attack for the Demi and Ashton Foundation (known as DNA). The Neilsons’ political connections got the Department of Homeland Security to cast Kutcher and Moore in training videos that teach cops how to spot trafficked sex slaves.

“We went through a significant research process through them,” Maggie Neilson says. “For Demi and Ashton, their strategy is actually pretty complex—there’s a lot of different parts to it—but one thing that became clear through it…was that there was no one working on the demand side, and that’s the side the data was showing more affectable.”

Enter the “Real Men” campaign. The humorous commercials are designed to dampen the supposed appetite for underage prostitutes by suggesting that real men do funny, manly things such as look for their cars in parking lots while blindfolded or play basketball on a broken ankle. “Fake” men presumably hire tot-stitutes.

But if you are a highly paid consultant, mustn’t you pair the juvenile humor with accurate numbers to maintain credibility instead of letting your clients regurgitate the outrageous “100,000 to 300,000″ statistic?

Not an easy task, says Maggie Neilson, whose previous work was in the hot, hot, hot area of microfinance. Getting data about sex slavery was not easy, she says: “Versus most social issues I’ve worked on, there is actually a dearth of data—so it was absolutely cobbled together.”

Accuracy is not a major concern for Maggie Neilson.

“All of the core data we use gets attacked all the time,” she says. “The challenge is, it’s that or nothing, right? And I don’t frankly care if the number is 200,000, 500,000, or a million, or 100,000—it needs to be addressed. While I absolutely agree there’s a need for better data, the people who want to spend all day bitching about the methodologies used I’m not very interested in.”

Except the numbers Neilson fed her clients aren’t undercounts masking even more shocking damage. The very police agencies Kutcher and Moore are coaching in videotapes document that the actual number of underage victims detained by law enforcement is slightly more than 800 a year, not 200,000, 500,000, or a million.

Perhaps the numbers will grow after enough cops watch her clients’ video.

In the underage prostitute/trafficking industry, the Neilsons typify those who are not concerned with facts: They know what’s best (or at least what sells).

Former congresswoman Linda Smith—a witness at the Craigslist hearing—not only knows what’s best, but has it on the highest authority.

The devout Smith, who served two terms in Congress representing Washington State, is another major player in the sex-trafficking panic, having testified before Congress that the estimate of 100,000 underage sex slaves in the country is “conservative.”

Smith is the founder of a group called Shared Hope International, an organization that DNA promotes. She, in turn, promotes Kutcher and Moore.

Smith’s worries, however, are not limited to sex trafficking or underage prostitutes.

Instead, she focuses on root cause.

Her organization is committed to “counsel men on the dangers of engaging in the commercial sex markets, especially pornography.”

How far would Smith take such a moral crusade?

As a member of the State Senate in Washington, she sponsored a bill that would have made it illegal for underage kids to have sex with each other. The law was also intended to stop oral sex and “heavy petting,” and it would have included jail time and a fine for the guilty.

“We need to figure out if we can find a way to make it not OK to buy pornography, not OK to fuel that sex industry, because it’s fueling the victimization of the child used in pornography, of the woman in despair used in pornography,” Smith says in one of her own YouTube videos.

“Most of my girls that we rescued, all over, have talked about the pictures taken of them during the time. What do you think those pictures are being used for…the ordinary men who are sitting with you on the bus or the plane? It has to be—the demographics are so many. But then I realized the Devil is having our lunch, because they’re daddies, they’re granddaddies, they’re sons… God has given us great gifts, and the Devil is stealing that from us through this.”

Shared Hope has depended upon contributions from faith-based foundations and the federal government. In 2003 and 2004, Smith took in nearly $1 million in government grants.

In 2006, her organization received $987,228 to facilitate services for “domestic child-sex-trafficking victims.” In fiscal 2005, her group also got $1.9 million from the State Department for an international public-awareness campaign.

In 2000, she helped author the national Trafficking Victims Protection Act. In 2007, Smith authored, with State Department funding, “DEMAND,” an examination of commercial sexual exploitation in four countries, including the United States. In 2009, the Justice Department commissioned her to write “The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children.”

Linda Smith is a cog in a very expensive machine.

To put it in context, consider that from 2001 (the year of the University of Pennsylvania study) through 2004, Congress appropriated $280 million to fight sex trafficking overseas.

In 2005 and 2006, the federal government spent $50 million primarily to fund law enforcement task forces involving U.S. Attorneys, local police, FBI and Department of Homeland Security agents, and various nonprofits. The task forces were created to put an end to sex and labor trafficking in America. Today, there are more than 40 such task forces, from Boston to Anchorage, each typically funded with $450,000 for three-year terms.

In 2010, Congress disbursed over $21 million to nearly 100 groups—including municipalities and local law enforcement agencies—that are fighting sex and labor trafficking.

You never hear in the media from the majority of these folks. But others have clear religious or prohibitionist agendas: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ($4 million), World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals ($60,000), Polaris Project ($800,000), the Church United for Community Development ($150,000), and Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking ($250,000).

The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces, also composed of local and federal law enforcement agencies, have investigated child pornography and prostitution cases since 1998. Generally, the units receive tens of millions of dollars annually. As part of the government stimulus package, Uncle Sam handed out $75 million to ICAC groups in 2009.

In the past eight years, Congress has spent $200 million on child pornography in America and another $180 million on all domestic trafficking involving sex or labor.

Ask the feds how many child-sex-trafficking cases they have prosecuted in all this time, however, and you’re hard-pressed to evaluate how far your tax dollars are going. The Department of Justice says it has no way of tabulating how many prosecutions end up in front of a judge.

As astonishing as that seems, the details are worse.

The latest report covers January 2008 to June 2010. Of the 45 Justice Department task forces in operation at that time, 42 reported at least one incident. But an “incident” is merely an allegation or suspicion that was investigated for at least one hour. And nothing more.

Of the 45 teams of DOJ lawyers, Homeland Security and FBI agents, and local law enforcement, only 18 of the task forces kept accurate paperwork.

Those 18 teams confirmed they’d identified 248 children involved in sex trafficking over the 30-month period.

In other words, with the full authority of federal law enforcement, 18 joint task forces were lucky to average eight kids a month—or 100 per year.

Give the 27 non-reporting task forces the benefit of the doubt. If they’d operated at the capacity of the functional 18, they would have added another 150 kids per year.

If all 45 task forces had had the same degree of success, they would, possibly, have located a total of 250 kids per year who were trafficked.

Not 100,000, and certainly not 300,000.

After millions upon millions of dollars, after years of raising awareness, after incalculable effort by religious, civic, and municipal workers, after focused attention from local and federal law enforcement: Why so few cases prosecuted and why so few children rescued?

Jay Albanese, a criminologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, spent four years heading up the Department of Justice’s research division.

“There’s tons of estimates on human trafficking,” says Albanese. “They’re all crap… It’s all guesswork, speculation… The numbers are inherently unbelievable.

“[The latest report] shows 2,500 investigations were begun by the 42 human-trafficking task forces. But only 30 or 40 percent of those have been confirmed as trafficking cases, and only 300 or so are actual arrests. The point is, given the 42 investigative trafficking task forces—and these people have undergone training—the actual number of cases always seems to be just a fraction of these very high estimates.”

He adds, “I wonder if these people putting up these very high estimates are helping or hurting the cause.”

But those grandiose estimates are helping the advocates, like Linda Smith, who have their hands out for government funding or charitable contributions.

“Let’s face it: A study or a story saying several thousand young teens are being exploited in the sex trade has a lot less impact than one suggesting that several hundred thousand are ‘at risk,’ ” says ASU’s Doig. “Researchers, journalists, law enforcement, and politicians alike have incentives to focus on the much bigger number.”

Despite the tidal wave of cash going to nonprofits purporting to raise awareness and task forces hoping to prosecute (with little track record of success), someone’s been left out: the victims.

Whether the number is the 800-plus per year (as indicated by police records) or a higher, not yet documented, number, there is no question that teenagers who exchange cash for sex present a special challenge.

Seattle is one of the few places in the nation with a shelter devoted to underage prostitutes. Despite the obvious need, the city manages the program without federal funding.

“These children, as victims, need more trauma-recovery services,” says Melinda Giovengo, who, as executive director of Seattle’s YouthCare, administers the Bridge Program, a residential center for teen prostitutes.

“There is evidence that a dedicated residential recovery program, with wraparound mental health, chemical dependence, and educational and vocational services, provided by well-trained specialists, both on-site and in the community, can help young victims of commercial sexual exploitation in breaking free from the track.”

Although Congress has spent hundreds of millions in tax-generated money to fight human trafficking, it has yet to spend a penny to shelter and counsel those boys and girls in America who are, in fact, underage prostitutes.

In March of this year, 10 years after Estes and Weiner claimed that 100,000 to 300,000 children were at risk of becoming sex workers, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (a Democrat from Oregon) and John Cornyn (a Republican from Texas) introduced legislation to fund six shelters with $15 million in grants. The shelters would provide beds, counseling, clothing, case work, and legal services. If enacted, this legislation would be the first of its kind.

The bill has yet to clear the Senate or the House.

The lack of shelter and counseling for underage prostitutes—while prohibitionists take in millions in government funding—is only one indication of the worldwide campaign of hostility directed at working women.

In Canada, prostitution is legal.

But under Canadian law, working women are not allowed the safety of a brothel or a bodyguard or a check that would give their whereabouts (for matters of safety).

Prostitutes successfully sued last year seeking to overturn the portion of the law they believed threatened their safety.

Earlier this month, the government’s appeal of that ruling was heard.

The issue wasn’t the legality of prostitution, a given, but whether prostitutes could protect themselves by getting off the street or by hiring security.

As reported June 16 in the National Post: “Prostitution is immoral, argued Ranjan Agarwal, a lawyer representing the Christian Legal Fellowship, the Catholic Rights League, and REAL Women of Canada. But, asked Justice David Doherty, What if sex workers die as a result? Wouldn’t that be harm out of proportion from the intended good?

“No,” Agarwal said. Such an outcome is a ‘side effect,’ and it was better for Parliament to ‘send a signal’ to anyone thinking of entering the sex trade that there was great risk involved.”

Having solved the problem of America’s underage sex trafficking, Demi Moore moved on to Nepal, where she addressed that nation’s problem with juvenile prostitutes. A CNN special on Moore’s appearance in Nepal aired Sunday, June 26.

Statement About Sourcing
Village Voice Media relied predominantly on individual police departments within 37 of the largest cities in the U.S. to furnish us with juvenile prostitution arrest data over the course of the last 10 years.

When that wasn’t possible, either because of incomplete records or because a particular department didn’t track the data for that long a period, we used FBI arrest statistics, in addition to various state and county law enforcement agencies.

Blog note: There is no proof of any forced sex

Ashton’s response:   http://aplusk.posterous.com/why-fight-it-could-be-your-daughter-your-niec

What is interesting is that Ashton (in his response below the article)  refers to Adult women over the age of 18 as girls or (children) who cannot think for themselves. So the government must think for them. And need to be protected from evil adult men. (of course all men are evil in the eyes of Ashton and Demi)

Yes, it is true, Ashton Kutcher really is a “sex trafficking idiot”

Article Link:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-06-29/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-sex-trafficking-ashton-kutcher-demi-moore/

Conclusion:

The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today.  It is amazing how people will believe such lies so easily.   The media is to blame for this.  I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations.   If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it.  You will be very surprised.

Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the “millions” of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.

These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies.

This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations.  As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

If you agree that you would like to see  news organizations do a full truthful report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves without taking the Anti-Prostitution groups word for it;

Here are some links to help you out:

To email News media publications here is some email addresses to get you all started. (Media companies link below)

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111

To contact USA senators and congressmen to alert them on the lies being told to them about Sex Trafficking and Slavery:

USA government officals link:

http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm

http://www.consumer-action.org/take_action/articles/make_your_voice_heard

(Don’t forget to tell your local government officals as well)

On Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-about-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/135619653172829?sk=wall

Feel free to use any information in this website to tell people about “The Facts of Sex Trafficking and Sex Slavery”

News night BBC TV show video:

The following links will give you more information about sex trafficking especially the Washington post article and the Guardian and BBC links.

Washington post article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html

News night BBC video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtaEdI3aiwg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rvA60zdkD8

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

Guardian newspaper:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated

Nick Davies – About Truth in the Media:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8YGmASiZZ8&feature=related

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/22/gov_proposals/print.html

Sex trafficking in sports:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/local/20110302-top-fbi-agent-in-dallas-praises-super-bowl-security-effort-sees-no-evidence-of-expected-spike-in-child-sex-trafficking.ece

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-01-27/news/the-super-bowl-prostitute-myth-100-000-hookers-won-t-be-showing-up-in-dallas/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/super-bowl-prostitution-100-000-hookers-didn-t-show-but-america-s-latest-political-scam-did/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-03-03/news/sex-traffick911-press-release/

Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:

http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/super-bowl/Super-Bowl-prostitution-prediction-has-no-proof–114983179.html

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8324/

www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843

http://www.lauraagustin.com/debunking-the-40-000-prostitutes-story-again-south-africa-world-cup

Human traffic website:

http://traffickingwatch.org/node/18

http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0826/final.pdf

India newspaper:

http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3622&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=9&valid=true#

Sex Trafficking in Asia:

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843/

Other Links:

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/
http://bit.ly/fXgwSD

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227418/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-The-myth-Britains-foreign-sex-slaves.html

http://www.bayswan.org/traffick/Weitzer_Criminologist.pdf

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2850/

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/reviewofbooks_article/5027/

http://www.misandryreview.com/heretical-sex/2010/04/04/more-sex-trafficking-lies/

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/07/09/prostitute.gallery/index.html?iref=allsearch&fbid=0Ox1WH9NNpl

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8324/

http://bristolnoborders.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/more-evidence-that-sex-trafficking-is-a-myth/

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/michael-duffy/much-ado-about-a-small-segment-of-the-global-sex-industry/2008/06/13/1213321616701.html

http://mensnewsdaily.com/glennsacks/2009/10/30/more-on-the-great-sex-trafficking-scam-in-the-u-k/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227418/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-The-myth-Britains-foreign-sex-slaves.html

http://www.angryharry.com/reHappyhookersofEasternEurope.htm

http://www.thescavenger.net/people/numbers-of-sex-trafficking-victims-are-exaggerated-13456.html

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

http://www.thoughts.com/west999

http://open.salon.com/blog/westly99/2011/03/13/the_myth_of_sex_trafficking_and_sex_slavery

http://mythofsextrafficking.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-about-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/135619653172829?sk=wall

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://westernman952.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/09/6223238-the-myth-of-sex-trafficking-and-sex-slavery

http://westernman952.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/16/6283889-the-myths-lies-and-truth-about-sex-trafficking-sex-slavery

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/sex-slavery-lies-and-myths/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/5/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-and-slavery/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-lies-and-prostitution/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

Laura Maria Agustin, book “Sex at the margins”

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Margins-Migration-Markets-Industry/dp/1842778609

Detailed Report and research about sex Trafficking, Sex Slavery, Prostitution:
by Ronald Weitzer
http://myweb.dal.ca/mgoodyea/Documents/Sex%20work%20-%20General/The%20mythology%20of%20prostitution%20-%20advocacy%20research%20and%20public%20policy%20Weitzer%202010%20Sex%20Res%20Soc%20Pol%207%2015-29.pdf

Ronald Weitzer:
http://www.bayswan.org/traffick/Weitzer_Criminologist.pdf

Nathalie Rothschild spiked magazine:

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/sex-trafficking-lies-myths/

Washington post article:

Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence

“U.S.Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short”

By Jerry Markon

WashingtonPost Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html

Minnesota City Pages News in the March 23, 2011 issue have a story about the controversial statistics used to calculate sex trafficking and Sex Slavery victims:

By Nick Pinto – Minnesota city pages

http://www.citypages.com/2011-03-23/news/women-s-funding-network-sex-trafficking-study-is-junk-science/

 The Village Voice newspaper in New York has a section on the Sex trafficking controversy:

 http://www.villagevoice.com/sex-trafficking/

In October 20, 2009

Nick Davis of the London Guardian newspaper writes about a large British Sex Trafficking, Sex Slavery investigation that failed to find a single victim.

 Guardian newspaper:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated

  Angry Harry:

http://www.angryharry.com/es-Where-Are-All-The-Sex-Slaves.htm

http://www.angryharry.com/reHappyhookersofEasternEurope.htm

http://sextraffickingfacts.wordpress.com/

http://sextraffickingvictims.blog.com/

http://sextrafficking.myblogsite.com/entry1.html#body

http://sextraffickingfactsmyths.wordpress.com/

http://mythofsextrafficking.blogspot.com/

http://humantraffickingintheusa.weebly.com/

http://the-myth-of-sex-trafficking.weebly.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Myth-of-Sex-Trafficking-and-Sex-Slavery/191343900903887?sk=wall

http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/sex_trafficking_myth_at_super_bowl_world_cup_olympics/

http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/

http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-06-29/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-sex-trafficking-ashton-kutcher-demi-moore/

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-07-06/news/stuck-in-trafficking/

http://www.villagevoice.com/sex-trafficking/map/

http://www.sextraffickingvictims.org

http://www.sextraffickingvictims.org/forum/general-information-topics-of-interest/the-truth-unfolds/

http://sextraffickingvictims.blog.com/

http://sextrafficking.myblogsite.com

http://www.wfaa.com/v/?i=114983179

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMtUEsWhg1E

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/prostitution/Juvenile_Prostitution_factsheet.pdf

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