Don’t let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. – Oliver Goldsmith
You know, sometimes you almost have to feel sorry for the trafficking fanatics (emphasis on “almost”): They want so badly for there to be a vast international conspiracy of slavers shuttling helpless, wide-eyed ingénues around the world to feed the demand of millions of perverts who just can’t get enough sex with terrified, crying thirteen-year-old girls, that they’re willing to invest huge sums of money and effort and even stake their public reputations on their filthy, lurid fantasies. Then when reality turns out to be much more mundane, and that (thank Aphrodite) teenage sex slaves are actually scarcer than hen’s teeth, they’re so disappointed one can almost hear them pouting. Some “authorities”, however, are so obsessed with forcing the world to conform to their warped delusions that they refuse to accept the evidence when it’s in front of them and instead demand that their lackeys somehow manufacture hundreds of pimps, “traffickers” and victims from thin air. Here’s a recent example from the UK:
An elite Metropolitan police squad has come under fire in a highly critical report commissioned by the London mayor, Boris Johnson…The report [called “Silence on Violence”] accuses officers of a “heavy handed” approach to brothel raids and of failing to find victims of trafficking…It criticises the police performance and estimates that they have a success rate of less than 1% in finding trafficking victims during brothel raids. Police had predicted an increase in sex trafficking in the runup to the Olympics, but they have admitted that they have failed to find any evidence of a rise in the five Olympics host boroughs…despite a cash injection of £500,000 from the Government Office for London to specifically target the crime…
You know, they could’ve given me £5000 and a round-trip ticket to London and I could’ve saved them a lot of trouble; I would’ve simply shown them Dr. Nick Mai’s study demonstrating there really aren’t that many coerced prostitutes in London, and a whole host of studies that conclusively prove mega sporting events attract neither prostitutes nor “trafficking”, including this recent one specifically commissioned for the London Olympics. In short, they were doing pretty well to find “trafficking victims” in 1% of their raids, because that’s probably just about all there were to find.
…Of particular concern is the failure of police to find girls and women trafficked from west Africa, thought to be the largest group of victims…The Poppy Project…said that women from west Africa are the largest group they work with. Of 197 Nigerian women they have worked with since 2003 just nine were referred to them by the police. “These women are not coming forward to the police so the police need to be more creative about how they find them,” said Abigail Stepnitz Poppy’s national co-ordinator…
Only a person whose head is irretrievably buried in the nether regions of her own alimentary canal could possibly consider encouraging the police to “be creative about finding victims” to be a good idea; for example, Korean police charged with “creatively” producing enough “trafficking victims” to placate the US State Department decided to “create” them out of Korean prostitutes, with horrible results. Most of the people interviewed by report author Andrew Boff were better informed, hence the criticism of typical police terror tactics; he even stated, “By going in, in this way they are driving some of these women further into the shadows. There is evidence of increasing fear of the police amongst sex workers which has resulted in a reluctance to report crime,” and the article states he “called on the police to rethink the way they investigate sex trafficking and to build better relations with sex workers.” Those recommendations may actually result in the report’s being a good thing, but in the long run the necessity of coming up with some arbitrary quota of “victims” to satisfy a politically-motivated narrative is bound to cause serious problems, almost certainly at sex workers’ expense.
But the response of London authorities is positively rational compared with that or their counterparts in Honolulu:
Honolulu…has a federally funded task force to investigate human trafficking. But [an] analysis of every prostitution arrest made in the last year reveals not one sex trafficking victim. In other words, either Honolulu doesn’t have a sex trafficking problem — or local law enforcement isn’t doing enough to investigate it…The police “have had several allegations of human trafficking that they investigated and none of them turned out to be credible,” [city prosecutor Keith] Kaneshiro [said]…
The total absence of trafficking cases alarmed crime experts. “If you have no evidence year after year of any of your prostitution arrests being tied to trafficking, you’re not looking hard enough,” said Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief. Stamper is a proponent of legalization…”I will confess that human trafficking as a law enforcement priority is a fairly new phenomenon…Rarely in the past did we think of prostitutes as victims.” A traditional vice squad strategy of arresting prostitutes can help disrupt the market. But if a trafficking victim’s first encounter with police is being arrested, it’s unlikely she’ll suddenly turn witness for the state, said [Amy] Farrell [of] Northeastern University. “Even if a woman has been a victim, she doesn’t trust them,” she said. “She’s worried about all kinds of retribution from her traffickers. There’s very little possibility in that situation that’s she’s going to provide information.”
…Kathy Xian, one of the main voices behind the local anti-human trafficking movement, says the lack of trafficking victims is a reflection on law enforcement’s approach to the problem — not the problem itself. “The way this system treats the victims in prostitution arrests is not conducive to them admitting to law enforcement what is really going on — that they are being trafficked,” Xian said. “The whole paradigm has to change…If they want to take a bite out of sex trafficking, they cannot arrest the victims, it just does not work.”
…according to local FBI spokesman Tom Simon…”Because Hawaii is the most remote place on planet Earth, traveling here to set up a prostitution ring with coerced sex workers from afar is an expensive prospect…we do not believe that the interstate transportation of coerced sex workers into Hawaii is currently an epidemic,” he said. “The overhead costs for the pimps is simply too high to justify the mass trafficking of coerced prostitutes into Hawaii…Sadly, Hawaii’s prostitution problem appears to be largely homegrown.”
No, Mr. Simon, what’s sad is that people like you feel compelled to define prostitution as a “problem” and to impose your ridiculous, ego-shielding “pimps and hos” mythology on it instead of recognizing it for what it is: a natural way for women to earn a living while providing a vital social service. And though the other three “crime experts” in the story spoke against the standard American model of criminalization, don’t be fooled by them; Stamper is a proponent of legalization with heavy regulation (i.e. establishing the state as pimp), while Farrell and Xian are too obsessed with “exploitation” and seeing whores as “victims” to support decriminalization (I’d be prepared to wager they’re both Swedish Model proponents). And while every one of these so-called “experts” has his or her pet “theory” about why the cops can’t find any “sex traffickers” in Hawaii, nobody but Simon admits that it’s simply because there aren’t any…and even he subscribes to the ludicrous myth of an international pimp cartel whose cost-benefit analysis led them to “traffick” their vast cargoes of pathetic, imprisoned slave-whores on the mainland instead.
One Year Ago Today
“April Miscellanea (Part Two)” asks “Why are Girl Scouts are being taught to believe propaganda instead of thinking critically?”, “Is porn in which women beat up men still ‘violence against women’?”, “What would Orrin Hatch do?” and “What’s the legal definition of prostitution again?”