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Max Gentle

"My life as a sex-trafficking victim"

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This article on the BBC website tells a story that's about as desperate and apocalyptic as any you could imagine. My first thought was: "Is this for real?" and I'm still not sure if it's actually truth or if it's all or partly made up. She claims to be a young mother with a degree in finance and yet was easily duped into being trafficked? Hmmm. I note that the article goes on to advocate harsh penalties: "We might start by putting men who pay for sex in jail." That and the photos in the White House etc. make me wonder if it's all a little too convenient for the anti-prostitution caucus.

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This was 2001, 15 years ago. I lived in NY then and there are lots of details in this story that just don't stack up. The core may or may not be true but if it is then it has certainly been embelished.

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Whether or not this story is totally or only partially true, doesn't alter the fact that trying to stamp out trafficking and enslavement for prostitution by making all sex purchases illegal is an unbelievably blunt and ineffective way of dealing with these appalling trafficking practices. If the US police diverted even half the resources they currently devote to interfering in the private activity of mutually consenting individuals, they could devote a lot more focussed effort onto tracking down and routing out the trafficking criminals.

Whenever I see yet another tale of horrendous sex trafficking and enslavement accompanied by an invocation to deal with it by criminalisng all sex purchasing activity (or implementing harsher penalties in those regimes where it is already criminalised) I always ask myself at least two questions:-

1. Would the most effective way to reduce or prevent trafficking for slave labour on say  egg farms be to make any purchase of eggs by anyone a criminal offence?

2. How successful was prohibition in America as a way of  outlawing the consumption of alcohol?

 

 

 

 

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It's a story that screams majority 'fabrication'. Degree educated woman who in 1998 is aged 21 and has already worked as an analyst and trader for a major international bank, three years later is out of work and off to the USA leaving a 3 year old behind with the grandparent. The story has all the clichés and all the smell of being bogus in large parts, nudity in brothels(?), being walked around casinos with a gun pressed in her back, escaping to police that won't help, and the consulate that won't help. It's too much Somaly Mam for me. Or Stella Marr. Or Rachel Moran. Or Valerie Lempereur. Or Long Pross. 

The brothel bust sounds believable. The activism definitely. Somebody is funding this and planted her in the right part of the BBC to give her tale and her recommendation that paying for sex with a trafficked person is made a harsher crime in the USA happens to already be a crime here.

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On 3/30/2016 at 7:25 PM, bongo said:

It's a story that screams majority 'fabrication'. Degree educated woman who in 1998 is aged 21 and has already worked as an analyst and trader for a major international bank, three years later is out of work and off to the USA leaving a 3 year old behind with the grandparent. The story has all the clichés and all the smell of being bogus in large parts, nudity in brothels(?), being walked around casinos with a gun pressed in her back, escaping to police that won't help, and the consulate that won't help. It's too much Somaly Mam for me. Or Stella Marr. Or Rachel Moran. Or Valerie Lempereur. Or Long Pross. 

The brothel bust sounds believable. The activism definitely. Somebody is funding this and planted her in the right part of the BBC to give her tale and her recommendation that paying for sex with a trafficked person is made a harsher crime in the USA happens to already be a crime here.

Whatever the truth or otherwise of this story, here is someone who was billed as a "sex trafficking survivor" and definitely wasn't.

http://reason.com/blog/2016/07/26/sex-trafficking-survivor-speaks-at-dnc

Some interesting insights also in this article into Hillary Clinton's unsympathetic attitude to sex workers.

 

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