That New Anti-Human Trafficking Law Is Destroying Lives & Will Increase Human Trafficking

That New Anti-Human Trafficking Law Is Destroying Lives & Will Increase Human Trafficking April 20, 2018

The cause of fighting human trafficking has been a hot topic for a few years now, and rightfully so. I’m one who has been so passionate about the issue that I did four years of doctoral work on the topic, from the brothels of India to all the major geographic regions of the United States– ultimately earning Fuller Theological Seminary’s 2016 Missiology Award for what was deemed unique and noteworthy contributions to the field and study of human trafficking.

There’s a lot in this world I don’t know, but I know a couple of things about human trafficking.

While awareness around human trafficking has grown exponentially in recent years, a dangerous thing grew at the same time: a frightening degree of ignorance, hyped-up generalizations, stereotypes, and outright false information. This has led us to the point where there is greater awareness– the term “human trafficking” is now one that most people know, but it has also led us to a place were this “greater awareness” in many cases, is actually just a wide-spread acceptance of not-quite-true information and horribly bad ideas.

Sometimes ignorance and misinformation is relatively harmless. In other cases, such ignorance can destroy lives and get people killed.

In this case? Well, what started as a few hyped-up episodes of Sex Slaves in The Suburbs has now cumulated in a sweeping new anti-trafficking law that instantly destroyed lives, got people killed, and has literally driven those most vulnerable to human trafficking into the hands of potential traffickers.

Trump recently signed into law the Stop Enabling Sex-Trafficking Act (SESTA) and the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), much to the celebration of many well-intentioned anti-trafficking advocates (but universally denounced by sex workers, countless human trafficking survivors, and by Freedom Network USA which is the largest coalition of providers in the anti-trafficking movement). However, these laws are the most damaging blow to the anti-trafficking movement that I could have ever imagined: SESTA/FOSTA is already getting people killed, instantly made people homeless, put pimps back in business, and just made it infinitely harder for us to identify and help victims of human trafficking.

You probably heard of this law when news broke that the government seized the website Backpage. Or maybe you noticed when Craigslist completely shut down its entire personals section. Let me explain what this anti-trafficking law actually is:

The new anti-trafficking law is actually an anti-free speech law– literally. The law modified Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shielded online platforms from what individual users said or did on their platform. For example, if you threatened to kill someone via Facebook, Facebook is obviously not responsible for what you did. However, this new anti-trafficking law weakened that protection and made online platforms liable if users posted an advertisement for erotic services. This is why Craigslist simply closed their personals section– shutting down all personals was easier than taking the chance of being sued if a user posted an advertisement for a sexual service.

Which brings us to the most dangerous part of this new law– it treats sex work (prostitution) as if it is the same thing as human trafficking, when it is not. Human trafficking is when you are forced or coerced by another person to do something you do not choose to do.

The Readers Digest of it is this: this new anti-trafficking law isn’t actually an anti-trafficking law, it is an anti-prostitution law and an anti-free speech law that makes websites criminally responsible if someone posts and advertisement for sex. That’s what it is.

This isn’t a human trafficking law, nor has it or will it help trafficking victims. In fact, this law will both increase human trafficking and make it harder to identify victims. Here’s why:

Whether you agree with it or not, some people in this world trade sex for something of value– and are not trafficking victims. Some do it by choice and find it empowering. Some do it by circumstance in order to survive. For these individuals, use of the internet has helped them take steps to stay safe. Online advertisement means they can screen clients and walk away when something doesn’t feel safe– something they might not be able to do if forced to conduct business in the streets. It’s also a place where they can share critical information like a “bad date list” to protect other sex workers from encountering potentially dangerous clients, and a variety of other potentially life-saving tools.

But those tools? Many of them disappeared overnight when this law passed.

For those who do not have the option to instantly make ends meet by other means, this law was devastating and forced them into either homelessness or street based sex work. And that is precisely how this anti-trafficking law will actually increase human trafficking and subject the vulnerable to further violence.

We already knew that the female homicide rate dropped 17% when Craigslist became the original place where they could advertise instead of working on the street, and that online advertisement made people safer. But that’s gone now. (Thanks anti-trafficking advocates.)

We also already knew that law enforcement consistently used online forums such as Backpage to locate and identify actual human trafficking victims who would otherwise be kept in the undiscovered shadows of society. But that critical tool previously used to identify and help victims is now gone. (Thanks anti-trafficking advocates.)

While many who trade sex were able to work independently, with reasonable safeguards, and off the street before SESTA/FOSTA, these well-intentioned but horribly misguided anti-trafficking initiatives stripped all that away from them. There are already countless stories of homelessness. Sex workers who went to work in the street and didn’t come home. Suicides from having lost one’s only income source in the blink of an eye.

Not one new victim rescued because of it, but many new ones were created.

The only people giving out high-fives more than the evangelical and the second wave, white feminist wings of anti-trafficking movement?

Pimps– because we just put them back in business, and we’ve already seen their recruiting efforts swing into gear. Without the ability to operate independently on the internet, or stay safe on the streets alone, getting a pimp– even with all the risks that come with that– will be the only option some have left to them.

So, there you have it. This anti-trafficking law is just an anti-free speech and anti-prostitution law. It stripped from us a critical tool we previously used to identify and help trafficking victims, and drove some of society’s most vulnerable individuals into the violence of the streets, and into the arms of those who could very likely exploit– and yes, traffic them.

Thanks, anti-trafficking advocates.

 


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Realist1234

    Ben, Im pretty ignorant of this issue, but do many of the people ‘trafficked’ not end up in prostitution? I know this has happened to refugees offered ‘help’ to come to Europe, and then find themselves being forced into prostitution by those who had promised them ‘jobs’.

  • $144948586

    Good, no, actually great article, Dr. Corey!

  • NoNameGiven

    Now you’re just sounding like a typical white male dudebro who thinks prostitution is a “choice.” If you think women choose to get paid to be raped, you’re out of your freaking mind.

  • $144948586

    You don’t think some people choose to be prostitutes?

  • richard

    sorry, Ben – not agreeing with you on this one. I see your position as similar to needle giveaways for heroin addicts – using the logic that by providing free clean needles the spread of disease is lessened. Facilitating crime, whether it be prostitution or human trafficking, by providing a platform for said crimes to take place, is not the answer.

  • $144948586

    “Facilitating crime, whether it be prostitution or human trafficking, by providing a platform for said crimes to take place, is not the answer.”
    You fail to realize: the platform already exists.
    Only now, those caught in it are generally going to be there involuntarily and thus under abuse–and, because the market exists, more will get unwillfully caught in it.
    You free it up, like any industry, and the “quality” becomes better (healthier, less drug ridden, less abused), and pimps no longer have to violently take women in to their ring. And because supply will be much greater, and cheaper, it will no longer pay to be a pimp that uses drugs and physical violence to suppress their women.

    Freeing it up gets rid of the “criminality”.

    Unlike drugs, sex is generally not opiate-addictive for the majority of the population.

  • richard

    sorry josh – isn’t that what amsterdam does – and not working out too good for them. I don’t agree with your logic.

  • $144948586
  • At first, I did have some reservations in calling Trump’s new signed anti-trafficking laws as unjust, but now, in how this article clearly pinpointed its fallacies, I now know that not only is there no merit in the laws, they actually will make the situation worse…

    I like the clear context as written from someone who has been involved in the subject matter…Thank ya kindly Ben…

  • LastManOnEarth

    Most human trafficking involves agricultural, factory, domestic services and other low- (or non-) paying jobs.

  • Sheila Rivera

    One of thee effects this law had is that Amazon removed many authors books based on a list of forbidden words in the content. So many erotica and romance authors either had to completely rewrite their stories with no forbidden words or have them removed from the platform. My daughter is an author who writes romance and erotica and she was telling me many of the authors were upset because there was no warning.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Sorry, but progressives need to stop being apologetic about this. People say this will harm sex workers, but Backpage actually willingly ignored trafficking activity to further their own pockets. You keep saying that conservatives support immoral practices since someone has an R by their side, well maybe the same thing can be said of progressive who will support anything that has a left wing cause and try to justify it as being the Christian way to do things.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-allegedly-trafficked-backpage-legislation-brings-closure/story?id=54390501

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/04/13/backpage-ceo-carl-ferrer-pleads-guilty-in-three-states-agrees-to-testify-against-other-website-officials/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.23375772fba6

  • Newton Finn

    What if your own dearly loved son or daughter, whom you did everything in your power to protect and nurture from birth through adolescence, nevertheless wound up becoming a heroin addict? This happens far more frequently than you might suspect, assuming it hasn’t already happened to your family. Imagine that your most passionate efforts persuade your child to overcome the habit, your being there and participating with him or her in one rehab program after another, all came to no avail. At this terrible, tragic point, when even God Himself seems to have abandoned you and your family and the child you so dearly love, what would you prefer, richard? That your son or daughter be able to get a clean needle and a pure nonlethal dose of heroin from a medical clinic, or that he or she be left to the drug dealer on the street?

  • richard

    newton
    hypothetical situations are so vague, and almost impossible to understand one’s point.
    But, to answer your question, would I forsake all to keep my child from procuring a illegal product that would most likely ultimately lead to an early death ? yes.
    giving away needles is not curing an addiction. it’s feeding it.

  • $144948586

    I’m a conservative, everyone in this forum knows this, and generally conservatives of libertarian bent (philosophically, not the capital L) support legalizing prostitution primarily because it will get rid of the “disgusting” side of prostitution that involves enslavement of women, drug abuse, and physical violence. There’s a reason legal strip clubs don’t coerce their dancers: they don’t have to in order to feed market demand.

  • Realist1234

    Actually, at least some prostitutes in western countries do choose to have sex with men for money. They would not view it as ‘rape’, but rather a ‘business’. I have heard a number of prostitutes being interviewed who view it as a choice they have made, typically for financial reasons.

    A recent example of this mind-set, selling sex for a good income:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-stewardess-leaves-her-tiring-job-to-strip-online-q277jjckk

    This of course does not reflect on those women who are forced to be prostitutes, often with the threat of violence by men, or those who have such a low sense of self-worth that they feel it is the only way they can live . Such men btw are b’stards and will be judged accordingly.

  • Bones

    Giving away needles is a health issue.

    So in your fantasy, you would have your daughter shooting up with shared needles?

    People dont shoot up because of free needles.

    And many drugs today dont need needles.

  • richard

    bones
    I advocate stopping the behavior, not the consequences of said behavior.
    You can justify giving away free needles as a health issue, just as Ben is advocating a website as a safety issue, but they are both encouraging bad behaviors.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The thing is Amsterdam tried it and it didn’t get rid of the seedy side of things.

  • $144948586

    “it didn’t get rid of the seedy side of things.”
    Neither has law; you’re not making a proper comparison. Such a line of thinking is called “Nirvana Fallacy”; it’s the comparison of real results to perfect outcomes, but what we have in other parts of the world are not perfect outcomes. What you need to ask is “compared to previous incidence (not Nirvana outcomes) of rape, has Amsterdam shown improvement?”
    To that end, yes. I posted a link in a previous reply to someone else where I link to a journal that supports this outcome.

  • Bones

    You can’t stop people’s behaviour.

    People are going to do drugs whether you like it or not.

    And it’s about time people saw drugs as a social and health issue eg alcohol and smoking and not a criminal one.

  • Bones

    Prostitutes existed in Ancient Israel.

    It was ok for men to have sex with women in Ancient Israel.

  • richard

    bones,
    you’ve not heard of behavior modification?

  • Bones

    How long do you think the drug war will last?

    Hint: Forever.

  • richard

    to that I agree.
    just like the war of good vs evil.
    never give up
    never surrender

  • Bones

    If you treat it like a war, then it can never be won eg Prohibition.

    In fact Prohibition is a perfect example which shows how organised crime will supply anything which people demand.

    In the meantime people are sent to jail for having a few g of powder or pills (especially if you’re poor or black).

  • richard

    it is a war, a battle, a struggle, whatever you want to call it, but I am not going to call evil good, nor call evil good.

  • Brandon Roberts

    i can kinda see why these sites were seized

  • No, of course, you’re too bent on making evil good and good evil. Calling them the wrong things is positively quaint compared to that.

    For starters, try not to conceive of war as a glorious enterprise, where the struggled-for value matters more than the casualties.

  • richard

    not sure what you mean. one cannot deny that there is good and evil.
    and I call prostitution and human trafficking and heroin addiction evil.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The problem here is that people say this is an attack on free speech, while ignoring how businesses like this have turned a blind eye towards corrupt practices going on. One comparison is with chocolate companies that willingly ignore child labor, in order to profit from their trade.

  • $144948586

    “The problem here is that people say this is an attack on free speech”
    That’s not the topic I’ve moved forward with; if you don’t like addressing it from that perspective, that’s fine. But that doesn’t invalidate the other point(s), particularly the one I’ve advanced in which I’m suggesting it minimizes the incentive to coercive.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The so-called statistics people back up with van be validated with the fact that anti-trafficking agencies have proof of the fact that these types of places like Craig’s List have been too lax.

  • I call prostitution and human trafficking and heroin addiction evil.

    Prostitution is not inherently evil, nor is taking heroin. Prostitution can be abusive, and when it is, it is evil. Heroin can be addictive, and when addiction takes over a life, that is evil. Your insistence on casting your net for evil too wide is neither helpful nor wise.

    Pointedly, in your desire to “make war” on the evils of the world, it seems to escape your notice and attention that overly punitive approaches to heroin use or prostitution usually just hurt more people with no good results to show for it. That, too, is evil.

  • Bones

    Fun fact:
    People who do drugs aren’t evil.

  • $144948586

    “these types of places like Craig’s List have been too lax.”
    Well that’s not a fair comparison; Craigslist is just a platform from which to market…the problem isn’t that they’ve been too lax, the problem is that legal means of prostitution have been outlawed. Thus the only one’s with incentive provide for prostitution are the ones who must take on a lot of risk of punishment; so the supply goes away but demand doesn’t. And this means prices go up; they go up enough to motivate another human being to enslave another.

    If you legalize prostitution, the price will go down as supply will increase and it won’t be profitable to kidnap and drug the women that are victims of it.

  • richard

    if you do not think prostitution and heroin addiction are evil, then we differ greatly.
    good day sir.

  • richard

    bones – I never said they were. But their addiction is evil.

  • Sarah

    It’s meeting people where they are. Prostitution has been against the law in most states for decades, but there has been no reduction in prostitution. The fact that drugs are against the law hasn’t stopped people from using them and overdosing on them, and dying from them. Portugal, on the other hand, has seen a fantastic reduction in addiction since decriminalizing drugs, as addicted people can now seek help without fear of arrest, and decriminalization has lessened the stigma of addiction. Likewise, decriminalization of prostitution in New Zealand has seen that sex workers are far more likely to report violence against them than they were before decriminalization.

    Not to mention the fact that addiction should simply not be criminalized- it’s a health issue, not a criminal issue. And sex work is also ridiculous to criminalize. Doing an act for free is ok, but the minute someone gives me something for it suddenly makes the exact same act a crime? How does that change the act? Which private party to this act- that takes place in a private location between two (or more) consenting adults- is the criminal? What about a minister who married a black man and a white woman when “miscegenation” was a crime? Some laws are simply unjust or unsustainable. Harm reduction- which is what decriminalization and needle exchange are- have proven to be the best approach to these things.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b2f064a10f8874aa377a500f028e139f8105ccf7cb57d9096978b6c8e664bab.png

  • Sarah

    Hmmm… yes- I think I have heard of it in regards to religious zealots trying to make gay people straight. Never works.

    When you require someone to change, you require that person to lie to you.

  • Sarah

    What, precisely, makes prostitution evil?

  • Sarah

    Believe it or not, some (very few, I imagine) do actually choose to get paid to be raped. It’s a kink. But prostitution is not rape, and to equate the two trivializes people who have actually been raped. Prostitution is, indeed, a choice for many. Just because it is a choice you can’t imagine making doesn’t make it any less of a choice for others.

  • Sarah

    It’s the same with licensed massage therapists and people who sell sex toys. I am sure it will be struck down eventually (completely unconstitutional), but not before ruining plenty of peoples’ lives.

  • Sarah

    100% agree with LastManOnEarth. It’s just not as “sexy” to report on labor trafficking that doesn’t involve sex as the product. (Plenty of domestic workers are sexually abused.) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c0a302a7c9301f712e28a4abd473c356593e3d2cf022db461c2f7aa341151f9.gif

  • SamHamilton

    Hi JazzQueen,
    I don’t think this is a progressive vs. conservative issue. If this is a bad law (I don’t know enough about it to know whether Mr. Corey is correct or not in his analysis), then it is a bipartisan bad law. Only two members of the Senate voted against it (one R and one D) and only 25 members (pretty evenly split between parties) of the House voted against it. Some of the most progressive and conservative members of Congress supported it.

  • richard

    have you heard of the seventh commandment ?

  • apoxbeonyou

    I have, but I’m not Jewish.

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, I’d heard that this anti-trafficking law was deeply flawed. Thanks for running down all the ways it makes the often already rough lives of people involved in sex-work harder and more dangerous. One would almost think that was the point… make the lives of sex workers harder and more dangerous and. what? They’ll get out of ‘the life?’ If they have been caught up in a trafficking ring, they’re not involved voluntarily… how does this help them.

    Seriously, this doesn’t touch people trafficked as slave-labor in domestic and agricultural work, more common than sex-trafficking. It doesn’t help people trafficked for sex-work find a safe way out. It doesn’t prevent trafficking or offer aid to people who have been trafficked. I really don’t understand what the goal was in its drafting. Just to ‘do something?’

  • gimpi1

    Then, may I ask, what would you do instead? Crack down harder? That often punishes the victims of trafficking, since it’s hard to tell whether someone was involved willingly. In fact, decriminalizing sex work generally makes it much easier to get those who are truly forced into it out – because they don’t have to fear prison if they go to the law to escape. Look into it – you might find the reality surprising.

    Also, needle exchanges do lessen the spread of disease without expanding the use of drugs. Again, look into it. You may have some bad information.

  • gimpi1

    So, is it your goal to increase the suffering for bad behavior? You just want people to hurt more, in the hope the pain will make them change? Yeah, that has been tried, well, forever, and it doesn’t work. Ever. The thing is, people in pain and fear don’t make the best choices. Easing the pain and fear often helps them make better ones.

    I live in Seattle. We have a big problem with public drunkenness, as do most major cities. We were spending a lot of money on 911 calls for people passed out. It was decided to have a “flophouse” – a cheap supported housing center – where drinking would be permitted. People screamed bloody murder. We were just enabling bad behavior. However, not only did the shelter save a great deal of money on emergency medical calls, it turned out that giving people a very basic shelter helped them clean their lives up enough to get serious about stopping drinking. This program has a better rate of success for ending both homelessness and public drunkenness than those that demand instant sobriety.

  • richard

    gimpi1
    there is a big difference between enabling bad behavior and offering love and compassion and encouraging one to change said behavior.
    As Jesus said, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”.

  • gimpi1

    My take on that parable is a bit different. There’s no threat on Jesus’s part, no insistence on reform before help is offered, and an acute awareness of the hypocrisy that it often a part of judgemental behavior. Frankly, I take the “Go and sin no more,” as more advice than command. However, I am not a member of your faith, so my understanding may be spotty.

    Dr. Corey, however is a member of your faith. He’s spent years of his life studying human trafficking. He’s done extensive work with people caught in its web, not only those in sex trafficking, but domestic, seafood, textile and farm workers who have been caught up in trafficking. He might know more than you. I know he knows more than I do. I think it’s worth listening to him.

    Just an aside, and I know this may seem snarky, but I’m genuinely curious, since I’ll apologize in advance and ask anyway: Do you judge as harshly and want to see suffer for their sins people who do things not as, well, overtly sinful? I don’t see calls to strip all greedy people of their possessions or deny medical care to overweight people. Greed and gluttony are sins too, right? Yet, sex, booze and drugs always seem to get calls for ignoring science, best practices and results in favor of making people hurt as much as possible. It seems, well, selective. And hypocritical. It reminds me of the people I heard, who – as AIDS was making its presence known – called for denying treatment and not funding research because SIN. Frankly, that turned my stomach. Thoughts?

  • richard

    Gimpi1
    I agree there is no threat on Jesus’s part, and perhaps you are correct that His admonition to go and sin no more is not a command – a request. But I do not see Jesus as accepting her sinful behavior, or enabling her.
    As far as Dr. Corey, I do listen, as a subscriber to his postings, and have much respect for him. But respect does not mean tacit approval. He is entitled to his opinion, and I mine. Respect is still there.
    As to your last question, I don’t feel that I am judging prostitutes or addicts.
    I believe them to be sinners just as I that need the saving grace of God.
    I do believe prostitution, human trafficking, and substance addiction are sinful, evil behaviors that should not be enabled or encouraged.
    Gluttony and greed are also sinful, evil behaviors that should not be enabled or encouraged.
    And no matter the sinful behavior, a Christlike response would be one of love and compassion, but not acceptance or encouragement of said behavior.

  • Sarah

    “One would almost think that was the point… make the lives of sex workers harder and more dangerous and.” Bingo. For them, the only good sex worker is a dead one. Or a former one who repents (but probably remains poor and dependent on handouts. They had the nerve to offer “help” to sex workers who had been affected by this law by posting a list of abolitionist organizations. It’s truly disgusting).
    https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/women/as-a-sex-historian-this-is-what-i-want-you-to-know-about-the-buying-and-selling-of-sex/
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f9501d73f270d14ee9d2ace16d1af112eb06d83bc79aa35b4f6f67bbd9fe349.png

  • gimpi1

    Fair enough. I think you’re wrong, because things like needle exchanges and decriminalization have better outcomes, such as less sickness, suffering and needless death, but I respect the consistency of your beliefs.

    A couple of things for you to consider:
    Since laws against sex work make it much harder for those who have been trafficked and forced into it escape, how would you address that?
    If you consider yourself pro-life, how do you justify causing needless death in the name of morality?
    How would you want to see society punish greed, coveting or gluttony? Would those sanctions approach the severity of the punishment you consider appropriate for sex workers or addicts?

    Just things to consider …

  • SamHamilton

    “Evil” would not be the word I would use in the vast majority of conversations about prostitution, but when I think about the gift of my body that God has given me and think of the ways in which God would want me to use it, prostitution does not come to mind.

  • Sarah

    Does bombing people come to mind [military careers]? How about cleaning someone else’s toilet [custodial services]? Or maybe pummeling the heck out of someone [professional fighting]? How about wiping the butts of people who can’t do so themselves [eldercare]? Would She want you to do that with your body? Jesus hung out with prostitutes. ;)

  • Sarah

    Have you never broken that one?

  • SamHamilton

    Sarah – There is no dishonor in cleaning toilets or caring for people who can’t care for themselves. These are noble tasks. If serving in the military results in the unjust death of others then it goes against God’s will for our bodies. I don’t think there anything inherently wrong with engaging in sports that involve punching or kicking others, however, at some point physical play can turn into hurting others, which, in that case, it’s wrong.

    Yes, Jesus hung out with prostitutes and I would never discourage followers of Jesus from doing likewise.

  • Sarah

    So then why wouldn’t She want me to use my body to bring pleasure and
    affection to someone who may not have other means to avail themselves of
    it? I believe my work as a sex worker is Her work. Love is love, after
    all. I believe orgasms serve Her.

    I am in agreement with you on these things: elder care is something that is desperately needed in our society of aging people, and I don’t believe the people who actually do the work get paid enough. Custodial work is also needed and honorable work. But… is there such a thing as “just death”?

  • Chari McCauley

    Do you understand that MOST of the people, here, are NOT volunteers; and, did not get a choice as to whether they wanted to have sex with strangers?
    Do you also understand that MANY are underage made-up to appear older? And, it’s not just for girls, anymore.
    If slavery (labor without pay or consent, which often includes sex) was not a problem, in the bible, why DID God spend forty years opposing the slavery of another human?

  • Chari McCauley

    But, you are giving the MONEY makers a free pass and putting the victims in danger.
    The money makers will never walk up to you and say here I am, and these are the people I have exploited.

  • richard

    giving the drunks a place to sleep is a bit different than giving them free booze or clean glasses with which to drink. I don’t see it as enabling or encouraging the behavior.
    apples to oranges

  • richard

    if it is as you state and most are not volunteers or not doing it by choice then the removal of their online platform should not matter.
    as far as slavery, I am not in the least condoning it. On the contrary, it would be the freedom we have in christ that we all seek for all.

  • Chari McCauley

    I recommend that you read a book called “The Cross and the Switchblade”; it’s a modern (sort of) day Good Samaritan story.

    Today you can replace switchblade with gun.

  • Sarah

    This is where it gets tricky. When you remove their online platforms, you remove all traces of them from the internet- traces that police nation wide used to find victims and the perpetrators of crimes against them. You make it much harder to find them by chasing them further into the shadows. That’s the whole point of this article.

  • gimpi1

    Not at all. The goals of all these programs is not modifying behavior, it’s about reducing public costs. The goal of our program in Seattle was to reduce the high cost of 911 calls due to public intoxication. Police and ambulance services were being called over people passed out or incoherent. The program was designed to reduce this expense by taking the “public” out of “public intoxication.” That it also made it more likely that people would be able to get sober was a happy and mostly unexpected side effect.

    Needle exchanges are created to reduce public costs by preventing the spread of contagious disease. It’s cheaper to not have to treat someone for Hep-C and addiction. Likewise, decriminalization of victimless crimes such as willing, untrafficked sex work reduces police and court costs and allows resources to be spent on those who are victims of trafficking or force.

    It’s not about enabling or judging. It’s about priorities and deciding how to allocate limited resources. Housing first, needle exchanges and partial decriminalization are all designed to reduce costs and direct resources to where they will get the most results. Reducing 911 calls, preventing the spread of contagious disease and concentrating police resources on those who have been victimized all do that. I see that as apples to apples.

  • Jason Lee Seiler

    You’re an idiot if you don’t think prostitution and human trafficking aren’t the same thing. When it comes to women, they bond with whoever takes care of them – and human trafficked women are forced into the same survival situation. It’s all mass application of Stockholm Syndrome and it’s something that you NEVER. NEVER. put anyone though – sex workers have this same problem and are left vulnerable to the whims of men, and the desire to be a prostitute because they bond with needing to sell their vagina for money. You guys make me sick.

  • Jason Lee Seiler

    Jesus Christ told the Prostitute “GO AND SIN NO MORE”. And while he had compassion for the desperation, he IN NO WAY condoned women selling their vaginas for sex. When everyone took their stones and walked off, he asked her point blank if they were right about her and she admitted they were. And he warned her NOT TO DO THAT AND LIVE THAT WAY.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Thank you for again illustrating how often our rules are a detriment to faithful living! These laws are yet another example of the evangelical obsession with sex while ignoring the economic human trafficking that is destroying lives around the world. https://www.amazon.com/Immoral-Christian-Dr-Kevin-Thomas/dp/1732264503/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1526423740&sr=8-2&keywords=the+immoral+christian

  • SamHamilton

    Kevin,
    As I pointed out to another commenter, only two members of the Senate voted against it (one R and one D) and only 25 members (pretty evenly split between parties) of the House voted against it. Some of the most progressive and conservative members of Congress supported it. This is hardly just an “evangelical obsession with sex” issue. Nice book plug!

  • Sarah

    Wow, Jason. What a low opinion you have of women. You make me sick. How dare you assume all women are pathetic, weak, and incapable of making their own decisions as to with whom they can have sex and under what circumstances! You’re a bigot.

  • Tim

    That is beside the point that is being made here. There is a difference between not condoning something and actually making the situation more dangerous for people.

  • NoNameGiven

    Those women and girls are trafficked. It is not a choice. Are you a prostitute?

  • NoNameGiven

    It’s still rape. Stop trying to justify and rationalize it. Do you work in “the business”?

  • NoNameGiven

    Women do not choose to be raped for pay, no.

  • NoNameGiven

    How do you know so much about it?

  • NoNameGiven

    Translation: “I know absolutely nothing about it, so I’ll just insult you to make myself feel like a bigshot.”

  • NoNameGiven

    Ah, so you’re an expert because you watch movies. Porn, no doubt.

  • NoNameGiven

    Women in porn are trafficked also, junior. You need to stop watching porn and start educating yourself on human trafficking.

  • NoNameGiven

    Based on my research of human trafficking, yes. Do your homework, junior, and get back to me when you can converse intelligently about the subject. And “homework” doesn’t mean binging on porn flicks.

  • NoNameGiven

    I’d say she’s lying, or you are.

  • Sarah

    Someone like No Name Given appears to be evangelical about the sex industry, so you really can’t have a logical conversation with them. It’s like arguing with someone who is a religious extremist. This person sounds angry, and perhaps they have reason to be so. Maybe they had a bad experience in the sex industry (many extreme prohibitionists have had bad experiences), and thus believes they are entitled to speak for everyone in the industry.

    I am in the industry and have been for over 20 years, and I have traveled all over the world, meeting hundreds, if not thousands of others in the industry. There are many reasons people enter the industry, and many don’t like it, but do it for the money. But none that I met were trafficked at the time I met them. A few had been trafficked in the past, but had chosen to do sex work as a way to take back control, and they found they very much liked it on their own terms. I adore what I do. I have an incredible capacity to love anyone, and I bring joy to many, many people. I am sincerely one of the happiest people I know.

    But people like No Name Given would say that I am a victim of “Stockholm Syndrome” or under “False Consciousness”. That’s a great way of silencing sex workers who don’t agree with them. Unfortunately they don’t understand that there are many people who enjoy having sex under many different circumstances, and getting paid for it is no exception.

    I believe many of these people are victims of internalized whore stigma, in that they believe in the myth that women should be chaste and pure, and only have sex under prescriptive heteronormative circumstances, such as marriage. This is why many prohibitionists have teamed up with right-wing evangelicals- they believe the same thing. If they’re women, they probably feel insulted if someone calls them a slut (or implies that they are). They probably jump to defend themselves, giving a thousand reasons they are not sluts. That’s internalized whore stigma. Because, truly, who cares how often or under what circumstances anyone has sex? As long as it is between consenting people? If they are male, they probably use the word slut to “put women in their place.”

    People like me are actually proud to be sluts. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to know -intimately- men and women from many, many different cultures.

    I wish No Name Given much love and joy in their life. They seem angry and dour, and I hope they find happiness.

  • Sarah

    No, they’re not. You can’t say they all are. Some are, not all. And I am a sex worker.

  • NoNameGiven

    Grow some self-respect. You’re not a product to be consumed.

  • sandidad

    Doesn’t the anti-trafficking law keep traffickers from soliciting on the internet? Plus, the anti-trafficking law keeps prostitutes from soliciting their dirty busy on the internet and entrapping young children into illicit sex and prostitution. Maybe prostitutes need to be homeless rather than destroying young lives. They are almost as bad as human traffickers.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    there is no god.

  • Sarah

    I have self respect aplenty, NNG. And I am not consumed any more than my masseuse is consumed, or a therapist, or nurse, football player, boxer, etc. We each perform/provide services/experiences to consumers. And, I might add, I’m damn good at it. ;)

  • NoNameGiven

    No, you don’t have any self-respect, and you’re crazy. Seek professional help.

  • Sarah
  • NoNameGiven

    Just get some help. You’re nuts.

  • Sarah

    I send you love and joy for a happy life, NNG. I hope you find satisfaction in your world. :)

  • NoNameGiven

    I hope you get the help that you need and learn how to love and respect yourself.