Since the federal legislation was passed in April, three women have been murdered and dozens more are missing. That was inevitable when the shutdown of sex sites like Backpage forced sex workers back on the street and into the clutches of pimps, writes an advocate for decriminalization of prostitution.
As the campaign against sex trafficking grows into a $47 million cottage industry, it has also been spurring a “moral panic” that sex workers say makes them increasingly vulnerable to police abuse, and turns them into targets for those with religious or moral objections to prostitution.
Justice-involved women, particularly women of color, are often “exploited” twice: first by human traffickers, and then by a court system that focuses on punishment rather than on providing the trauma services and counseling they need, said a New York City judge.
Few Americans realize that sex trafficking is as close to home as their own communities. As the nation notes “human trafficking awareness” month, a West Virginia advocate explores the special tragedies it inflicts in a state that leads the nation in both poverty and drug addiction.
California’s efforts to implement two major new laws to help sex-trafficked kids are hampered by cultural stereotypes held by law enforcement and some legislators that criminalize the youngsters, a Los Angeles journalist discovers.
The author of a new book on human trafficking tells TCR that victims can be as close as the neighborhood beauty salon or the person who knocks on your door to sell you a cheap bauble. Most of them young women in dire straits, they are easy prey in a largely invisible but spreading form of organized crime in America.
A bill pending in Congress to make websites liable for publishing information that facilitates sex trafficking doesn’t address the real issues at stake—and may do more harm than good, writes a trafficking expert.
A researcher uses Backpage.com to identify a potential victim and get police help. The lesson, she writes, is that commercial sex trafficking sites are increasingly useful tools for law enforcement—and outlawing them is counterproductive.
Police and the courts need to dramatically change the way they deal with prostitution, beginning with treating sex workers and trafficking victims as individuals who need counseling and help to remake their lives— rather than as criminals—said an Urban Institute report released today.
Still, with 175 juvenile missing person cases opened each month, Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton asked A-G Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to report on whether the statistics indicate “an underlying trend.”