Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking Dorchen A. Leidholdt Coalition Against Trafficking in Women(CATW) and adapted by Catherine Ferguson, UNANIMA International
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women is an international NGO, with consultative status to the UN’s ECOSOC.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women is an international NGO, with consultative status to the UN’s ECOSOC. UNANIMA International (UI) is a coalition of 16 congregations of women religious. It has special consultative status with the United Nations.
Trafficking Overview Annually 4 million people are trafficked; 2 million girls between age 5 and 15 brought into the sex industry (UN). The vast majority of trafficking victims, as many as 80%, are women and girls. Anti-trafficking poster from Eastern Europe. It reads, “They are not toys.”
Sex Tourism and Internet Often, the demand travels to poor countries for sex tourism. Sex tourism is the reverse of sex trafficking. Trafficking is facilitated by the Internet.
What is Trafficking? The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, contains the first internationally agreed upon definition of human trafficking.
“Trafficking in persons” is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception,
…of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation… Trafficking
TYPES OF EXPLOITATION: Prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, Forced labour, Slavery, Removal of organs;
Consent? The consent of a victim of trafficking to the intended exploitation... shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth [above] have been used.
Trafficking of Children? Recruitment, Transportation, Transfer, Harbouring or receipt of a child; For exploitation; No requirement of fraud or deception
The “Palermo Protocol” The Trafficking Protocol to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime Prioritizes trafficking in women and children. Criminalizes trafficking. Provides assistance & protection to victims. Seeks to prevent trafficking through international cooperation and information sharing.
“Trafficking is just as much trafficking when it occurs in the victim’s own home village, town, or city... Domestic trafficking is as serious a human rights violation as international trafficking”. The Palermo Protocol does not require movement across international borders
Sex Trafficking and Demand There is growing consensus that addressing “demand” is key to the prevention of trafficking.
Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Sigma Huda, Special Rapporteur, called for action against the buyers of sexual services “since it is the demand for sexual exploitation that promotes trafficking.”
Sigma Huda analyzes trafficking and demand. “For the most part, prostitution... usually does satisfy the elements of [the Protocol’s definition of] trafficking. It is rare that one finds a case in which the path to prostitution... [does] not involve, at the very least, an abuse of power and or an abuse of vulnerability.”
Link between Prostitution and Demand “The prostitute user (prostitutor) is both the demand creator and... part of the trafficking chain.” (This exploiter) is... inflicting substantial harm on the trafficking victim, tantamount to rape.”
Sex Trafficking, Racism and Demand “Some prostitute-users actively seek prostituted women and children of different [races and ethnicities] for the purpose of exploiting these power disparities, engaging in a ‘highly sexualised form of racism.’... Women and girls oppressed on the basis of race, nationality, caste and/or colour are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Prostitute users often abuse this vulnerability and so abuse their own position of relative social power over trafficked persons.”
Demand is global It is global in the sense that it drives international sex trafficking and violates fundamental human rights. Demand is local It is local in the sense that it is happening everywhere – in our own villages, towns, cities – mostly carried out by men who are part of the core fabric of our local communities.”
Two Different Approaches to Demand The Netherlands criminalizes forced trafficking while legalizing prostitution. Sweden a multi-pronged approach to curtailing demand Prosecutes buyers and traffickers
The “Dutch Approach” Directs criminal sanctions against traffickers using force and coercion. Legalizes prostitution and regulates it as work. Considers that legalization will curtail trafficking, child prostitution, and organized crime.
Dutch “Anti-Trafficking Campaign” Launched in January 2006 by the Dutch Crimestoppers Organization. Encourages buyers to be aware of signs of trafficking and to report potential victims. “Have you seen the signals? Fear, bruises, no ‘pleasure’ in the job.”
Buyers are major perpetrators of violence against prostituted women and girls. How likely is it that prostitutors will become protectors?
Buyers are major perpetrators of violence against prostituted women and girls. In one study, 85% of prostituted women surveyed reported having been raped in prostitution. How likely is it that prostitutors will become protectors?
Demand and legalization: the Dutch reality In 1960, 95% of prostituted people in Holland were Dutch; currently 80% are immigrants, most from poor countries. At least 70% of prostituted people in the Netherlands are undocumented. ChildRight reports that between 1996 and 2001, the number of prostituted children in Holland has increased from 4,000 to 15,000. One third are immigrants. Over the last decade, the Dutch sex industry has grown by 25%.
Supply only a part of the problem Sweden realized supply was only part of the problem. Of equal importance was demand--created by Swedish men whose buying of women’s and children’s bodies made trafficking into Sweden profitable. Sweden concluded that along with the traffickers, buyers should be held accountable and punished.
Sweden’s Approach In 1999 Sweden enacted new laws to combat trafficking. The laws eliminated criminal penalties against prostituted people funded services directed strong penalties against pimps, brothel owners, and traffickers required arrest and prosecution of buyers. At the same time, Sweden initiated an intensive public education campaign against demand for trafficking.
Deputy Prime Minister Margareta Winberg: “Sweden recognizes that full gender equality... cannot be brought about as long as a subclass of women and children are victims of prostitution and trafficking. Otherwise we allow for the exclusion of a separate class of women, especially those who are economically and racially marginalized, from the universal protection of human dignity enshrined in international human rights instruments.” Margareta Winberg
Sweden’s Reality The result was a decline in sex trafficking into Sweden. The danger of prosecution coupled with diminished demand made Sweden unfriendly territory for traffickers. The Swedish model has influenced other jurisdictions.
The Philippines The Philippines passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9208) According to the law: trafficked persons are victims and not penalized for crimes related to trafficking or for obeying the orders of traffickers penalizes “any person who buys or engages the services of trafficked persons for prostitution” with community service and a fine.
Projects to curb the Demand for Prostitution educate youth train law enforcement officials to recognize trafficking victims support laws that enforce sanctions against buyers
Video ‘First Time’ Critiques the “coming of age” rite in which teenage boys are encouraged to have their first sexual experience with a prostituted girl or young woman Who among these boys is proud to have become a man last night? Video Project
Develops an educational manual that challenges concepts of masculinity centered around sexual violence and exploitation.
Young Men’s Camps in the Philippines CATW-AP holds young men’s camps in the Philippines to educate boys on gender, sexuality and prostitution
Young Men’s Camps in the Philippines “First is for me to internalize the lessons I have learned and share them with my friends and then with different people in our school and in our community”
Survivors Speak Out Against the Demand “Filipina Survivors Say No to Prostitution”
India Project to Curb Male Demand for Prostitution Trains for the implementation of policies and programs that penalize demand. Focuses on protection of victims and decreasing the demand through closure of brothels and arrest of buyers
. Many months passed by in that way until she couldn’t cry anymore. “Everything hurt, my breasts, my legs, my entire body. They made me have sex every 15 days, then every week, then every day.”
NGOs Promoting Preventative Measures to Combat Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation Joint project by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) to support NGOs in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro.
For more information about these and other projects consult www.catwinternational.org and www.unanima-international.org