End Sex Trafficking and Commercial Child Sexual Exploitation.
The trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation is one of the rampant scourges in our world today, estimated to account for some 80% of human trafficking cases globally. Women and children form the majority of persons trafficked for this purpose. In contrast, most of the consumers are men!
To end sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children would require a multi-pronged approach - one which involves a change in male attitudes, reduction of demand strategies and strict enforcement of laws.
CURB is seeking to implement such a diverse and effective solution through our End The Demand - The Search for True Masculinity Campaign which addresses the demand for commercial sex as well as other forms of violence against women and girls.
In Cambodia, the sex trafficking industry has been experiencing such a challenge and several brothels have closed their doors. The key strategies have been actual enforcement of laws against prostitution and trafficking and the successful prosecution of brothel owners and exploiters.
CURB advocates the use of forfeiture laws which will strike sex and labour traffickers on the wallet. When traffickers lose the money, real estate and other assets they have acquired through illegal activities, the industry is liable to crumble sooner than later.
CURB advocates such forfeiture where "hotels, clubs and massage parlours" are found to have been harbouring or employing persons who are illegal aliens in our country. These are often the "fronts" for the illegal sex trade and sex trafficking.
Demand reduction is also key to making the industry unprofitable. This is the case in countries which have criminalised the purchase of sex. Offenders can be sent to jail or, in some instances, may avoid jail time by attending a class known as John's School.
In the USA, if the purchase of sex occurs near to a church or school, the offence may be a felony and offenders may have to register as sex offenders for a period of time or for life!
In East Asia, some agencies have begun to re-educate the male population so that the culture of purchasing sex can be eradicated. In this way, a generation of males and females are being groomed to take a stand against prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors.
We are particularly interested to see the implementation of demand reduction strategies which have been identified as deterrents by interviewees who took part in a study of men who buy sex.
The men said they would be easily deterred from seeking prostitutes if the current laws were enforced. Most of the men said that fines, public exposure, employers being told of their activities, the risk of a criminal record, and being given an ASBO (antisocial behaviour order, which means an individual’s activities can be made known publicly) would stop them from continuing to pay for prostitutes. Learning that women were trafficked, pimped, or otherwise coerced would not be so effective.
Retooling of persons involved in the sex trade is also a beneficial process. Former sex slaves who lack employable skills may need to be counselled, given therapy, educated, certified and empowered to thrive after emancipation from the sex trade.
For many countries, such a noble initiative may place a strain upon scarce financial resources. In order to offset those expenses, CURB encourages regional governments to pass laws which would authorise the State to utilise the assets forfeited from convicted human traffickers and brothel owners to fund these activities.
Undoubtedly, pop culture and its over-sexualisation of women and girls are taking a toll on our young people such that females are often deceived into believing that they are not worth more than being prostituted or sexually exploited. This belief is supported by the results of extensive research conducted in Britain and the United States of America.
The State must do more to reverse the tide by ensuring that research conducted into the harmful effects of such music and imagery translates into action in law such as the regulation of industries and the imposition of heavy sanctions upon corporate and other offenders which are polluting the minds of our youth.
In contradiction to the sexualised messages, we need to reiterate to our young people their true identities. We must emphasise to them that they are neither for sale nor rent for the sexual gratification of others.
Citizens must also raise their voices to vociferously object to the grant and renewal of liquor or other licences which purport to legitimise the activities of sex traffickers. They also need to report the presence in their neighbourhoods of the micro-brothel and massage parlours or other sex establishments which seek to evade police scrutiny by hiding in residential areas.
By taking such a stand, politicians, law enforcement, teachers, faith-based leaders, business owners and parents can re-establish moral codes which protect women and children fro abuse, sexual violation and exploitation.