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Lies about trafficking *again*

Over in the Observer. My comment there:

Umm, you\’ve got confused here over the definition of \”trafficked\”. Bit like Julie Bindel which isn\’t company that any self-respecting journalist wants to keep (as a polemicist she\’s fine, factual journalism not so much).

1) Those forced, against their will, into sex slavery.

2) Those transported illegally but with their consent into the sex trade.

Definition 1) is the correct one: it\’s what the Palermo Protocol calls it for example. It\’s also a vile, vile crime and very much illegal. It\’s also extremely rare: recall Operation Pentameter in which every police force in the country went looking for victims and found enough evidence to prosecute precisely zero people of the crime.

Definition 2), well, sure, lot of people are upset about it. But since it is legal to be a prostitute (which in the UK it is) and there\’s lots of poor women out there happy enough to be one compared to the meagre rewards on offer at home: well, fine and dandy to be upset about it but it is an entirely different problem, isn\’t it?

Unless you want to equate fiddling visas with the repeated rape of a sex slave?

15 thoughts on “Lies about trafficking *again*”

  1. I disagree – trafficking is illegal importation. Sex slavery is the term for the first act. People traffick drugs, tobacco, animal products. Consent is not a dimension.

  2. “People traffick drugs, tobacco, animal products. Consent is not a dimension.”

    I disagree. Drugs, plants, animal products cannot give consent, people can. At the very most, we are talking people trafficking, not sex trafficking.

  3. The Village Voice (ironically, for the leftiest mag you could imagine) is currently having a similar fight in the States. Equally ignorant stupidity from its critics (especially from renowned sociologist and intellectual, Aston Kutcher).

    Roger/ChrisM: sure re literal meanings, but the use of the term “human trafficking” has allusions of slavery. In the same way that referring to black people using the Spanish term for ‘black’ isn’t inherently a bad thing but has political connotations given its usage in the US, referring to the consenting but illegal importation of people as “human trafficking” is a political and misleading act given the way the term is understood.

  4. The row between the Village Voice and noted granny botherer Ashton Kutcher over the use of bogus statistics on child prostitution that John B referred to really is appalling.

    Not only is Kutcher trying to lead an advertisers boycott, with some success, he is tweeting insinuation that suggest the Village Voice is pretty much involved in child sex:

    “fact: news outlets who have financial interest in trafficking may have interest in applying bias to facts to secure their revenue”

    He really is a despicable cunt.

  5. Sex slavery & trafficking – does it exist?

    Best thing to do is take a leaf out of Tim’s book – do some research & look at the economics & down here on the Costa Fortuna there’s no shortage of research material. The industry is open & pretty well ignored by the authorities. About half a klick from my apartment there’s a ‘hotel’ with about 70 resident chicas. Walk in the door. Buy an overpriced drink at the bar, if you fancy one & before you’ve tilted your glass you’ll be getting propositions you’ll find it hard to turn down.
    The girls at the ‘hotel’ charge 75€ the half hour for the pleasure of taking you upstairs to see how comfortable the rooms are. Certain discomforts might cost you extra. Along the coast, rates vary from 25€ the half up to 250+. Depends on the luxury of the facilities & the quality & versatility of the merchandise. Actually the price ceiling’s stratospheric but at that level you’re buying into a lifestyle. You don’t go to a Royal Film Première just because you fancied seeing the movie.
    OK, so how about us making some money out of poor defenceless women?
    Generally the split is 70% odd to the girl, 30% to the house . The ‘hotel’ charges the girls 75€ a day room rent so on 3 tricks a session it’s about the same. Some of the clubs, the girls get commission on drinks- 25-30% – so they hustle for those as well. So let’s say we get ourselves half a dozen ‘sex slaves’, set ’em up in apartment & sell pussy. We’ll make fortune, yes?
    There’s actually no shortage of whores here. There’s a distinct oversupply. We could put an ad in the paper & be auditioning a hundred
    next week. What there is,is is a distinct shortage of punters. From what I hear, the current prices are not much different to what they were ten years ago. Competition has driven rates down to the level where it’s a straight choice between doing this work or any other available work.
    Our ‘sex slaves’ are, by their nature, going to be at the bottom end of the market. Punters won’t pay a lot of money for services provided by a supplier who isn’t enthusiastic about her profession. We won’t be sending our girls out on dinner dates with millionaires. So our girls are competing with the 30€ a trick hookers. What do we compete on? Price? Dropping the price to say, 20€, won’t produce any more customers. It’s not price the customers are looking for, it’s quality of service. One 30€/ trick girl I know does about 10 a day. Most of that’s repeat customers. She’s making 100€ a day for the house. With our girls we’ll be lucky if they do 3 a day each. Few who’ll return. Taking 100% of the earnings were still making less. & we’ve the problem of babysitting unwilling employees. We still have the overheads even if their not earning. It’s the same economics that killed the slave trade. in the 18thC.
    That’s what happens if you’ve got an open market. The only way you’d make money out of compelling girls into prostitution is if the enforcement against the industry bears down so hard that the supply of providers is small relative to the number of consumers.

    As for the ‘trafficking’ side; of course there’s girls coming from E. Europe, S. America etc without papers & people facilitating this for a price. Ditto for chambermaids, men for below minimum wage agricultural work & a lot of other things. But one thing the sex industry seems to be tight on is illegal working because that’s one area the police breath heavily on. And the illegal girls tend to be the ones putting themselves at the greatest risk, touting for punters on the highways.

    Now all of the above is Spain where the industry is largely unregulated. From what I know of it in the UK, it’s not that much different. Prices are higher, but that’s against a background of higher earnings generally. Legal enforcement certainly makes the profession a lot more dangerous, particularly the part that defines a brothel & the pressure on girls to work dangerous streets to find punters. But again, there’s no shortage of willing workers so where’s the benefit in forcing girls into the trade?

    A question to our socialist readers: You tell me another industry where the workers end up with 70% of the turnover? Amazing what unrestricted capitalism can achieve isn’t it?

  6. The first White Slavery Panic was entirely a fabrication by Suffragettes and their fellow travellers; so is this revivalist version. There is really nothing more to be said. It is pure, unashamed, lying for entirely selfish reasons.

  7. I think I read about a widely-used (possibly even Home Office) definition of sex slavery, which had the usual check-list. Tick 2 or 3 of the points on the list and you would be described as a slave.

    But one of those points, I remember, was failing to pay tax & NI on your earnings. A sign of slavery? I suppose your ‘cash-in-hand’ plumber is therefore a plumbing slave (forced to do blow-torch jobs)?

    Anyway, I think it was quite possible to tick enough boxes to be defined as a ‘sex slave’ on this definition without any hint of being forced to do anything against your will.

  8. I don’t make 300 euros a day but I still feel completely fucked at going-home time.

  9. Re: Bindel.Heavy irony I’m afraid.
    An enjoyable way of dealing with her Guardian articles is to count the number of paragraphs and reward yourself with whatever takes your fancy, smokes,drinks …according to how far she gets before making her “shock announcement “that she’s a lesbian.She rarely gets beyond the first paragraph unfortunately.(But she has ,of late, revealed a sense of humour ,which is disconcerting.

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