Cedarville Speech: Sex Trafficking
Last week I spoke on sex trafficking at Cedarville University, invited by the campus chapter of World Vision, “Women of Vision,” for their monthly Soup for the Soul meeting. My hostesses Dr. Deborah Haffey and Dr. Susan Warner, are two dynamic, dedicated faculty members with a real vision for inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.
Here’s some excerpts from my presentation to the (terrific!) students at Cedarville. Globally, sex trafficking — modern-day slavery — involves 2 to 4 million persons. 17-18,500 persons are trafficked into the United States annually. According to the United Nations, trafficking is 3rd largest criminal enterprise worldwide — it’s worth $9 billion annually. (State dept. fact sheet; Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; DOJ; UN website.)
Still, there are skeptics.
Dr. Donna Hughes Donna Hughes, Professor and Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women’s Studies Program, University of Rhode Island told an audience in March of this year about her experiences working on a research project on trafficking:
A number of the male experts I spoke to believed that trafficking didn’t really exist. Most believed that women went abroad voluntarily to be in prostitution and made a lot of money. When one academic expert told me this, I pointed out to him that Ukrainian victims had been identified in the Balkans.
He countered by saying that these women just claimed to be victims so that they would receive free travel expenses from NGOs to return home. At the end of these conversations or interviews I was often left wondering whether I was stuyding sexism or trafficking.
Well, here’s a picture of a man who helps women “voluntarily” become “sex workers.” (Cite here.)
Dilaver Bojku, arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking
Here is the full powerpoint presentation. The good news: A friend of ours, March Bell, Senior Counsel at DOJ on these issues, tells us that the problem is large, ard real, but Justice is making real headway against the like of Bojku and his ilk. They recently broke up a major pipeline of prostitution from Mexico to the United States. See here for more.
Side note: this post was delayed because I got hit this week by a server crash (cue refrain from “Back Up, Back Up Your Files”). Fortunately, all is now well, thanks to the magic wand of my Brilliant Brother (don’t start blogging without one of these!) Thanks, Bro.