Less than half of the 96 U.S. Attorney’s Offices have prosecuted a trafficking case. ECPAT-USA has been collecting hundreds of news articles, press releases and court documents identifying hotels that have been used for the commercial sex trade. Missing from ECPAT’s collection are the procesutions by the US Attorney Offices against pimps for child sex trafficking. Where does this leave the victims?
From a 2002 series of posters in a campaign coordinated by the Swedish government. Photo: The Swedish Government
Recently, catching up on email after a few days of hiking in the wilderness, my heart leapt at a headline “French minister seeks abolition of prostitution in France and Europe.” She is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France’s minister of women’s rights. The new French campaign to abolish prostitution will have its naysayers: “Impossible!” “too idealistic,” “so utopian it will never happen!” And, of course, those who promote the sex industries will insist that “sex is work and women’s choice.” I heard those refrains in 1991 when, as executive director and co-founder of the UN Human Rights NGO, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, I began to launch a global campaign to criminalize prostitution customers, otherwise known as johns or punters.
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U.S. Department of State Releases Annual Trafficking in Persons Report
This year, the Department of State annual report on human trafficking released a ranking for the second year in a row which included the United States and an evaluation of national efforts to combat and prosecute human trafficking, and protect those who have fallen victim. You can read the State Department’s full report here.