Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of State trafficking photo’ Category

Today’s Slave Trade aka Human Trafficking

June 18, 2009

Trivia bonus question:  Who’s the real-life actor dad of 24‘s Keifer Sutherland?  Jude Dude Answer:  Who cares, playing heroes runs in the family. (Dad Donald Sutherland played a hero in the “Human Trafficking” TV mini-series.)

For the many millions of enslaved (aka trafficked) people every year, the danger and depredation  don’t stop after the TV shoot’s a wrap.

“Human Trafficking”:  Sounds so much better than “Today’s Slave Trade.” Even the two-part TV “complete miniseries,” by its subtitle under  the “Human Trafficking” header, acknowledged that the main target merchandise of today’s sex slave trade is not boys but girls.  An online photo advertising the miniseries:

Maybe too laden with heavy grief for those who care, and too glossed with prurient interest for those who do not, the global sex slave trade in girls cannot be named for what it is and receive the anti-trafficking funding needed by social activists.

And indeed, caring, courageous social activists have caught the political attention on the need to stop human trafficking.  Certainly it is not only the overwhelming numbers of girls and women, but also some boys and men, who are trafficked and not always for sex or only sex.  Concentration-camp-style, farm-and-construction, and domestic-servant-to-master-behind-closed-doors-type labor are also options.

This week, Secretary of State Clinton spoke up about it: Clinton: US Has “Responsibility” To Fight Trafficking

Slavery:  Now a bigger global criminal enterprise than black-market weapons, second only to the illegal drug trade.  But all the pieces fit together.   The big-three of global crime are (1) drugs, (2) slavery, and (3) arms because, to take a common slavery example, profiteers cannot enslave girls, boys and young women to degradation serving male tourists in brothels without drugs to numb the human merchandise and without guns to enforce the profiteers’ dominance over the merchandise.

Remember the media brouhaha (understandable) over Catholic priests (all males) who were caught for buggering little boys?  These crimes,  heinous, yet also a social barometer in sounding a bigger public outcry than you have ever heard raised against the systematic rapes of girls who have not just one but two natural orifices below the belt in which to be abused by men.  Of course there are a relatively few women who for whatever reasons (socialization, trauma, derangement) act out in predatory violence against others. But in a global profit-based economy,  to understand the big-picture “why” of trafficking requires looking to the source of the demand that leads to criminals trafficking, drugging and coercing girls who grow into pimp-controlled women  as a cheap source of supply.

To focus on meaningful global political solutions it helps to notice who is doing the most of what to whom.

This is an undated handout photo from the US Departement of State website.  Customers/exploiters come from all over the world. Legalized or tolerated prostitution is a magnet for sex trafficking. The U.S. Government considers prostitution to be "inherently demeaning and dehumanizing," and opposes efforts to legalize it. The PROTECT Act makes it illegal for an American to sexually abuse a minor in another country. Perpetrators can receive up to 30 years in jail.