Sex work criminalization means potential employers and landlords treat me as a person who was arrested for prostitution, not a survivor
I am a survivor of sex trafficking in America. I’m also a former sex worker. Because of the latter and despite the former, the legal system views me more as a prostitute who deserves to be punished than a victim in need of assistance. And, until we decriminalize sex work, it always will.
Criminalization contributes to our inability to exit sex work or end trafficking, rather than helps us. Whether sex workers or sex trafficking victims, thousands of women and men are arrested on charges of prostitution, trespassing, curfew violations and all sorts of crimes, limiting our ability to support ourselves in less dangerous or stigmatized ways when we so choose.
We are, instead, pushed underground, where we are forced to engage with pimps for protection because the police don’t protect us. Many of us want a different life, but don’t know a way out, while others have decided this is our path in life. None of us deserve abuse or arrest; we should have the right to decide how to use our bodies, and we don’t need more abuse and fear when we’re already on the streets in what is inherently a violent industry. Continue reading I’m a sex trafficking survivor. America’s laws won’t let me leave my past behind→
The FBI has broken up several sex trafficking rings across the US, uncovering more than 100 sexually exploited teenagers in a nationwide operation.
Agents arrested more than 150 people on sex-trafficking charges in dozens of cities including Atlanta, Denver and Seattle.
The youngest victim found was 12 years old, the FBI said.
The FBI targeted hotels, casinos and lorry stops to find underage victims.
The majority of the teens found were girls. Agents also found three boys and three transgender teens.
The FBI worked with local police departments and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help the teenage victims to find shelter and get medical attention.
The agencies want to ensure the teenagers do not return to prostitution.
“When kids are treated as a commodity in seedy hotels and on dark roadsides, we must rescue them from their nightmare and severely punish those responsible for that horror,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement.
The raids involved about 500 local police departments from across the country. A similar FBI-led campaign carried out last year uncovered about 160 teenagers working as prostitutes.
In the last few weeks, the horrors of human trafficking in Malaysia became known to the world with the uncovering of unmarked graves near an abandoned migrant camp. This discovery confirms Malaysia’s designation by the State Department as a ” Tier 3 country,” indicating that it has serious human trafficking problems and is not making significant efforts to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery.
This grim reminder of the possible fate of migrant workers is a strong argument for the inclusion of the “No Fast Track for Human Traffickers” amendment in the Trade Promotion Authority bill passed by the U.S. Senate.
WASHINGTON – In the first 21 months of operation, the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) recorded information on more than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The HTRS contains data collected by 38 federally funded human trafficking task forces on alleged incidents of human trafficking that occurred between January 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008. Continue reading MORE THAN 1,200 ALLEGED INCIDENTS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING REPORTED IN THE U.S.→