LOOK Honey! Another celebrity!

So here I am, about to start in on yet another celebrity jumping on the human trafficking for sex slavery band wagon. But wait…

Julia Ormond brings up some points I would like for you to consider. One of which is that, in this respect, prostitution is very similar to any other professional industry. Except that, in these cases, prostitution is the ONLY industry which is fully illegal. You will see my examples below and understand what I mean. You can find Ms. Ormonds testimony here.

She starts with the usual reaction. She finds out about human slavery and is shocked/saddened/disgusted etc etc and then she lists cases. NOT just cases of sex slavery but of labor slavery also. She states:

I will never forget the story of the girl who crawled out of an eight floor window for fear of her life in sex slavery.  But I can equally never forget the child enslaved in the fishing industry who jumped ship into the Thai sea to float on a barrel for two days and a night before being rescued because that was his safest option, or the child who was chained, whipped and scarred for life while maybe working on our carpets.  Or the child soldier forced to burn his village, kill his mother and rape his sister for someone else’s war.  Or the stories of the artisanal miners of gold who begin a two-year life expectancies, just to provide me with a trinket.  Or the enslaved garment worker who make my clothing.  Or footage of Mayan agricultural slaves in Florida picking my tomatoes.

Ok kids, can you tell which one of these things are not like the other? They are all examples of an industry. We have prostitution, fishing, textiles, and produce. Prostitution is the only one that is illegal. Why are the others not? If the current excuse is that prostitution breeds and encourages human trafficking and sex slavery, then why can we not use the same excuse to shut down the fishing industry or the textile industry? Obviously there are cases of human trafficking for the purpose of labor slavery inherent in these industries also. In fact, she also states:

… ask any member of the public what proportion of this issue is sex-trafficking, and the usual response is about 80%.  To the contrary, the International Labor Organization has recently stated that for every one person forced into the sex trade, nine people around the world are forced to work.

And among labor trafficking victims, the practice is most prevalent in the agriculture and mining industries.  The forced labor of these victims taints many of the products that we purchase and rely on every day, such as coffee, chocolate, clothing, micro-chips, electronics, even the brake pads in our cars.  To quote the TIP Report, “it is impossible to get dressed, drive to work, talk on the phone, or eat a meal without touching products tainted by forced labor.”

Catch that? Reread if you must. Most prevalent in AGRICULTURE and MINING. Not prostitution. So what should we do? Go back to Little House on the Prairie days and make everything ourselves in order to protect the children? Why aren’t you people concerned about the tomatoes you eat or the clothes you wear and how, by purchasing these items, YOU are contributing to the exploitation and forced labor of women, children, and yes – men also. You say that sex is not a right? Neither is buying tomatoes, you can just masturbate… I mean grow your own.

A few more choice bits if you don’t want to download this statement in full from the site linked above:

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has cited that in Europe, the profits from human trafficking has overtaken the profits in the trafficking of drugs.  Yet the United States government spends more in ONE DAY fighting the war on drugs, than it spends in an entire year fighting the trafficking of people.

… Sex will always sell, whether the story is good or bad.  But we need the media to cover the issue fairly, proportionately.

Now what is she doing to try to implement reduced harm and a reduced environment for slavery and trafficking? Did she call for support in making these industries totally illegal? No. She is attempting to work WITH the CEO’s of these companies to implement best practice policies. She wants these companies to come to the table and work TOGETHER to fight and reduce demand. She wants them to work WITH governments and NGO’s.

So this is what her organization helped to pass:

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act will for the first time enable consumers to choose to support businesses that are creating best practices, using their purchasing power to encourage them to bring their expertise and knowledge of supply chains into the equation.

Why can this be done in other industries and not the sex industry? As it might apply to the prostitution industry – enable clients to CHOOSE those prostitutes who are adult and voluntary. Enable clients to use their purchasing power NOT to support any human trafficking or sex slavery. How do you ensure clients that they are hiring a prostitute who is adult and voluntary? By taking the guessing game out of the equation (i.e. the S-WATCH organization I am working on that will list sex workers who are only adult and voluntary. If an advertising escort is not on the list, then the client is playing a guessing game as to whether they are trafficked or underage. It’s a work in progress.)

In one sweep it will educate companies (or clients/sex workers)  unaware of a possible problem not just of their own potential vulnerability, but also the devastating impact of using company (prostitution) influence to drive profit up by forcing the prices of raw materials down, to a level where labor violations and criminal activity and suicide are the outcome for the raw material work-force.  For today’s enslaved.

It will create an environment where those companies (sex workers) already doing the right thing (i.e. adult and voluntary), can more robustly and publically turn it into part of their brand identity.

Prostitution is an industry. It sucks that there are criminal types who want to use the industry itself to exploit and enslave people. But lets place the blame where it belongs, on the traffickers – not the industry itself. Allow prostitutes to organize and develop best practice policies in order to educate the clients on where to find the AVP’s so that they can CHOOSE NOT TO hire the underage and the forced.

Either that or treat the other industries like you do prostitution – make agriculture and mining illegal, because that has done so well to eradicate sex slavery hasn’t it?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “LOOK Honey! Another celebrity!

  1. cch

    Full disclosure: I didn’t read the whole thing. Too much wordstuf.

    I understand the argument, but a defender of the status quo might argue that you have one industry that is illegal and needs to be cleaned up versus industries that are legal and need to be cleaned up. So, they’re not at the same starting point.

    If you have some examples of industries that started out as illegal, were made legal, and cleaned up, that would be a compelling counterargument. I was thinking of alcohol, but that started as legal, became illegal, then legal again. I can’t think of a good example…

    • Prostitution wasn’t made illegal in almost all states until the period of between 1910 and 1915. So actually, yes you could use that as a comparison. It was legal, though regulated through vagrancy and public nuisance type of laws – then it was made illegal across the board (except in those counties in Nevada…

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