Incoming Congress Likely Won't Change International Sex Trafficking Travesty

In countries around the world thesexual slavery of children proceeds unabated, even in our own country, the self-proclaimed greatest nation on earth, sexual slavery and human trafficking is a big business. Yet, no one in our government nor in the governments of many developed countries is likely to do anything about it.

Why? Because the women and girls who are being treated as products to be sold and used as any other product one might buy for entertainment -- electronic games, iTunes downloads, internet porn, etc. -- do not live in countries where we, i.e., pour governments care to intervene. After all, fighting sexual slavery costs money. Far better to suggest the US military stay in Afghanistan or Iraq for an indefinite future, because there we have an interest in the oil in the ground or gas pipelines that might someday be built, or simply to pressure and threaten Iran and the Taliban.

So we, i.e., our governments and public servants and elected officials will mouth the right words when the occasion demands condemnation, but we will effectively allow little if any cost to be paid in diplomatic pressure on our "allies", withhold foreign aid to nations which permit and even encourage this nasty business, or create an international program dedicatedend the business of selling people to other people, etc. to bring this great atrocity to an end.

You see, there's nothing in it for the large nations and the corporations that run them to bring mount a major effort to end this scourge. Indeed, wealthy businessmen in both the West and the East are big time customers of this "trade" in human beings.

Is it any wonder that major companies with ties to the US government such as the company formerly known as Blackwater (i.e., Xe) and others like KBR engaged in human sex trafficking to provide sexual entertainment to their "workers" overseas.

Sharia Law is the greatest threat to our nation? I'd say our enabling the sex trafficking trade by issuing government contracts to corrupt companies known too use child prostitutes is a much greater threat to our nation. But that's only if you care about things like moral integrity and human rights.

I can tell you one thing: the corporations that bought our latest House of Representatives don't give a crap about this issue. There wouldn't be a sexual trafficking in young children if there wasn't a demand for it, and the people that help to provide that demand often work for major corporations. It's just a cost of business to them, part of their expense account for entertaining clients or improving the morale of their mercenaries contractors. Even our own State Department has been known to turn a blind eye toward sexual trafficking in order to maintain good relations with the rulers of oil rich nations.

The same State Department that issues reports like this one denouncing the growth of the trade in human beings:


Since 2001, the number of countries ranked in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has more than doubled to include 177 countries, including – for the first time in the 2010 TIP Report – the United States. The advent of the Report’s ranking of the United States, supported by a frank analysis of our strengths and weaknesses at home, has been welcomed by anti-trafficking advocates and foreign governments alike. The TIP Report remains the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking and the world’s most comprehensive resource on governmental anti-trafficking efforts. It has inspired and prompted legislation, national action plans, and implementation of policies and programs.

We have seen, for example, a steady increase in sex trafficking prosecutions and shelters for victims in some Gulf states; greater efforts to address the forced begging of Koranic students in West Africa; passage of a law and formation of a national task force in Swaziland; cross-border cooperation with Mexico; a significant uptick in victim identification in Albania and Montenegro; the naming of the first TIP “Czar” in Malta; and greater anti-trafficking collaboration by the Malaysian government with the U.S. Government and NGOs, leading to new trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Bosnia and Herzegovina also stands out as a particular success story. Bosnia was on Tier 3 for many years as a war-torn nation plagued by sex traffickers, but the government in recent years changed course and aggressively tackled the crime. After a decade of hard work, spurred by the TIP Report and supported by the United States, Europe, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Bosnia is now a Tier 1 country with strong penalties for convicted traffickers and victim protection partnerships with NGOs.

Over the last decade, the Trafficking Office has been a leader in counter-trafficking programs out in the field – over 450 projects to combat modern slavery in 109 countries. At present, we have nearly 200 active projects in 65 countries totaling $54 million, and this year, we will award approximately $21.262 million. Our federal funds are awarded to international and nongovernmental organizations to support programs that address issues or deficiencies identified in the TIP Report. The Office’s foreign assistance and programming is strategically targeted to countries ranked in the TIP Report on Tier 3 and Tier 2 Watch List as well as selected Tier 2 countries.

Twenty-One Million Dollars to combat sexual trafficking is absurdly low compared to what we spend each month in Iraq and Afghanistan accomplishing next to nothing. It's window dressing, or to use a more apt political term, it's putting lipstick on a pig and hoping no one notices. Twenty-one million dollars to combat a Multi-Billion Dollar industry? It might make for a little good public relations but as a legitimate effort to fight these atrocities it like spitting into the Gulf of Mexico and saying your saliva is a good start to cleaning up the BP disaster.

Of course, now we have all these stalwart God-fearing Republicans in Congress I'm sure that will all change, right? Sure it will. Sure it will. Just like it did the last time they ran the world:


Three years ago, President Bush declared that he had "zero tolerance" for trafficking in humans by the government's overseas contractors, and two years ago Congress mandated a similar policy.

But notwithstanding the president's statement and the congressional edict, the Defense Department has yet to adopt a policy to bar human trafficking.

A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records.

The lobbying groups opposing the plan say they're in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry's biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns.

Booman Tribune / By Steven D.

Posted at January 4, 2011, 7:15am

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