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more on the sex trafficking panic

Six months of nationwide raids in the UK failed to find any sex traffickers. Five people were convicted in the time period, but their cases had started earlier.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails

WPost article on baseless estimates in the US. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html

Nation article on how the obsession with sex trafficking ignores the probably more prevalent non-sex slaves. http://www.thenation.com/article/oversexed
But abolitionist feminists and evangelicals retained language that
labels as "trafficking" all smuggling of immigrants into
prostitution--even if they knew what line of work they'd be getting into
and are doing it voluntarily, and even though immigrants working
voluntarily as prostitutes probably far outnumber those who are coerced,
both internationally and in this country

In a slick rhetorical maneuver, the TVPA offers no assistance to
individuals who've been voluntarily smuggled to work as prostitutes, yet
it counts them as "trafficking" victims, along with brothel prisoners.

only 1,084 people have filed for T visas. Most applicants reported
being forced into labor such as construction, welding and domestic work.
These figures suggest that the nation harbors more enslaved drywallers
and baby-sitters than it does brothel prisoners.

Tomatore says that the "vast majority" of her clients were trafficked
into domestic work, including immigrants brought to work for UN and
consular officials.

***

Relatedly: narratives about underage sex workers don't match research of their actual experiences, including pimps being fairly rare. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2014/05/02/research-shows-that-minor-sex-trafficking-narratives-do-not-reflect-the-experience-of-many-domestic-sex-workers/
"Among the 14 percent of female sex workers in the New York Sex study
who had pimps, we estimate that approximately 10–15 percent faced such
systematic abuse. In Atlantic City we were able to identify three such
relationships between a young sex worker and a pimp. These findings
suggest that roughly 2 percent of all the sex workers whom we
interviewed, across both cities, were in a relationship with a
predominantly abusive, violent pimp."

"In one study, only 2 percent reported that they would ever go to a
service organization if they were in trouble. From their perspectives,
the anti-trafficking discourses and practices they would encounter in
these organizations threaten to criminalize their adult support
networks, imprison friends and loved ones, prevent them from earning a
living, and return them to the dependencies of childhood."


And the average of entry into prostitution is almost certainly not 13, as has been bandied around.
http://www.politifact.com/oregon/statements/2013/mar/02/diane-mckeel/Is-average-age-entry-sex-trafficking-between-12-an/
http://eminism.org/blog/entry/62
http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/november-q-a/

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Damien Sullivan
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