Esther Shannon, a furiously effective feminist activist and one of the founders of FIRST - a group of feminists from across Canada (which includes men, trans, and sex industry workers) who support decriminalization of sex work, recently attended the 2010 Summit on Trafficking show put on by the Feminazi Army to cement their relationship with church groups and other feminists they've most likely insulted in the past.
Says Esther in her report to FIRST: "As many know, the notion that prostitution is trafficking was early on taken up by the Bush administration whose trafficking policy included provisions that refused aid to NGOs in developing countries that supported decrim or partnered with sex worker organizations that supported decrim.
"The policy has been strongly criticized by many American and international anti-trafficking organizations who argue that 'it harms women and their families, increases the vulnerability of people in the sex sector to violence, trafficking and HIV infection, prevents health care workers from accessing sex workers and does nothing to prevent trafficking. Sex workers who do not want to be 'saved' are being subjected to violent raids and rescues and some of them are being arrested, abused and deprived of their livelihood.'"
Groups made up of sex industry workers were completely excluded from this meeting. Surprise, surprise.
More from Esther: "Representatives included the groups listed above and anti-decrim academics (e.g. Perrin - UBC and SFU’s Michael Marwick, who chaired the event). There were a couple of federal MPs: Anita Neville -- Liberal MP from Winnipeg and a member of Parliamentary Status of Women Committee responsible for the 2007 report on trafficking that conflated prostitution with trafficking -- and Ujjal Dosanjh, who endorsed the declaration and, in a little bit of theatre, was escorted across the floor to sign it."
What an embarrassment for the politicians when they see the GAATW report! What is the GAATW report, you ask?
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is an Alliance of more than 90 non-governmental organisations from all regions of the world. The GAATW International Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and coordinates the activities of the Alliance, collects and disseminates information, and advocates on behalf of the Alliance at regional and international level.
The report examines the problem with linking trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation with
sporting events, highlight the impact of campaigns that address this “problem”, and raise some recommendations for Vancouver City Council in light of the upcoming 2010 Olympics.
Here are some of their findings (word for word):
- Data from previous sporting events indicates that an increase of trafficking in
persons into forced prostitution does not occur around sporting events.
- Internationally, there is a strong tendency to focus only on trafficking for sexual exploitation as it can be seen as an absolute and immoral exploitation of women. There is also a tendency to confuse prostitution and trafficking as though they were synonymous with each other. As such, linking trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and sporting events is a common response to international sporting events, but it is typically based on misinformation, poor data, and a tendency to sensationalise the issue.
Sensationalize? Whomever could they be talking about?! (lol)
The people at the summit Esther attended not only sensationalize the issue, they criticize groups made of people in and of the sex industry. In Esther's words:
"Next came two ex sex workers telling their stories: Both were young Aboriginal women with one identifying as a Rape Relief member and the other from AWAN. Both stories were gut-wrenching with many references to domestic trafficking of Aboriginal girls interspersed with attacks on decrimilization advocates and, this is new to me, attacks on service providers who provide support thereby giving women the message that they should stay in the sex industry (condom distribution was explicitly mentioned in this regard).
"These organizations were said to be failing sex workers because they don’t provide real help: no exiting programs, employment training, etc. etc. The message was that these organizations cannot be trusted to help sex workers because they are complicit. "
Do I need to point out the deliberate attempt to exclude members of the industry they are attempting to "save"? How about the lies - that sex worker organizations are not supporting sex industry workers to exit, get training, etc. Anyone heard of PEERS? PACE? WISH? BCCEC? WCCSIP? The Naked Truth? All groups that support exiting programs and strategies (and/or implement them) and who hire former sex industry workers - how do you say "give people jobs"?
Esther shared with FIRST the essence of some of the speaker's words:
"Senator Mobina Jaffer spoke on prevention of trafficking – Jaffer is: a lawyer, long time Liberal, associated with equality for women of color and immigrant women, appointed to the Senate in 2001, said to be writing a book on trafficking.) Based on the research her staff has done, she said it’s unlikely that 2010 will be a magnet for traffickers. But, she repeatedly said that prostitution would probably increase and that domestic trafficking of Aboriginal girls and women would be the real problem. "
"Next up was Sharon Tidd, Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympic Outreach Coordinator, Salvation Army BC. The Army decided to seriously focus on trafficking in 2006. There was actually quite an aggressive tone to her remarks. She talked about the first Army billboard on trafficking, saying that while some were not happy with their approach, they were committed to doing more of the same.
"She invited others to join with them saying that regardless of whether people came on board, their work was continuing. For 2010, they intend to do more billboards including at the airport and in Vancouver suggesting that this was dependent on whether they would be allowed to do this. The Army will also produce posters and wallet cards for 2010 and they hope to do broadcast ads."
Hmmm. Someone should send Sharon Tidd the GAATW report. teehee
This is the funniest part of Esther's report, which supports my argument about cock-blocker feminism:
"Then comes Assistant Professor Benjamin Perrin, UBC Faculty of Law and BC’s trafficking expert on the prosecution of traffickers in Canada. He promptly gets himself in serious hot water by appreciating the story telling of the ex sex workers and saying that more of the same was needed if things were truly going to change. A woman in the audience took off after him and all men saying that it’s men who need to work on solving the problem. She went at this for about five minutes talking about how men believe they have the right to put it anywhere they choose and that was the real and unacknowledged problem with prostitution. I don’t know who she was, but clearly she’s an old school feminist and not at all nervous about speaking her mind.
"Immediately following this, Lakeman of Rape Relief corrected Perrin suggesting he earlier got his parliamentary committees mixed up (the solicitation versus the trafficking committee) when he described a committee as having a hard time reaching agreement...
"Then the Chair came to Perrin’s support saying that everyone needed to consider that the problem of trafficking was not going to be solved unless everyone worked together and that must include men. Then another man took responsibility for men saying that men had to change. Then the air went out of that balloon and Perrin returned to talking about the law."
Hahaha! I feel so sorry for the stupid men who get caught up in the man-hating movement.
The rest of this post comes directly from the GAATW report.
Unfortunately, much energy and funding has been put into national and municipal campaigns to prevent trafficking in persons before and during sporting events – with little known benefit for such campaigns - and this trend seems to be reoccurring in Vancouver and across Canada.
Recent media reports highlight the debate with some NGOs and faith-based organisations speaking out against trafficking for forced prostitution during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and distributing “educational kits” in Canadian schools. There have also been calls for the government – at all levels – to “stand up to the plate and say [Canadians] are not open for this kind of business”.4
The RCMP have countered the claims that trafficking will increase because of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. “We haven’t, to this point in time, had any reports to suggest that there will be any increase in human trafficking during these Games. We have nothing to suggest we will,” said Corporal Norm Massie, a former head of the RCMP’s human trafficking section in BC.5
This perspective is also shared by GAATW member organisation, Ban Ying, a non-governmental organisation in Berlin which works on trafficking in Germany and provides assistance to trafficked women. In a report analysing trafficking during the 2006 World Cup, Ban Ying, highlighted a number of other reasons why an increase in “forced prostitution” during sporting events is unlikely6:
1) Trafficking in persons is a business; traffickers want to make profits. It is costly to bring a womanwithout valid residence papers into another country. Women forced into prostitution would not makeenough money for the perpetrators through the duration of the event.
2) Trafficking in persons in most cases means that the women are residing illegally in the country. Large sporting events have an increased police presence in the cities where the games are being played. Therefore, the risk to be uncovered is much higher than during other times. In practice, it is evident that traffickers are avoiding places where they could raise suspicion due to the “illegality of the women under the immigration laws”.
The impact of anti-trafficking campaigns
A major concern regarding anti-trafficking campaigns that focus on trafficking for forced prostitution during international sporting is that these campaigns can have very harmful effects on the very people they aim to protect.
For example, prostitution is legal in Germany; however, “police in Berlin raided 71 brothels in the city during the 2006 World Cup; they found no evidence of trafficking – but did deport ten women.”7 The objective was to protect migrant or “foreign” women from exploitation, but in doing so, police targeted sex workers, aggressively raided brothels and intensified checks on brothels.
These types of “rescue raids” are increasingly being used to stop trafficking in persons, however, reports from many countries around the world – such as Cambodia, the Philippines and the USA8 – reveal that these raids lead to extreme human rights violations of migrants, sex workers and trafficked people; harassment of sex workers; immediate detention and deportation of migrants without proper investigation; and sometimes re-victimisation of
trafficked persons as police focus on ‘law and order’ rather than victim protection.
“Instead of taking a stand for improving the legal situation of the women affected [whether migrants or sex workers], the issue of trafficking is often being used to criminalise sex workers.”9 In fact, the media “hype” on trafficking surrounding the 2006 World Cup was used by the United States of America government to lobby Germany against the legalisation of prostitution.10
Fear of increased trafficking is also being used to restrict the entry of migrants. In the name of preventing trafficking, governments have developed restrictive entry policies denying women of certain ages or certain appearance entrance into a country.11 This can increase during the lead up to international sporting events where media and public pressure around trafficking for forced prostitution can lead to profiling of potential trafficked persons and tighter restrictions for entrance.
Actions to prevent trafficking prior to and during sporting events have included national and local public awareness campaigns (targeting trafficked persons, clients, or the general public etc.), national and local hotlines to help trafficked persons, intensive raids on brothels, intensified checks or controls on brothels or sex clubs, media campaigns etc. These actions can be particularly damaging when they do not engage with or include groups that may be affected by such campaigns such as sex workers, or groups where trafficked persons are likely to be found such as construction or workers in informal sectors.