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Old 07-08-2011, 05:09 PM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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The Kutcher-Voice Feud, The Facts of Sex Trafficking and why the Truth Matters

I think the Twitter War between Ashton Kutcher and the Village Voice needs to check this out.

Quote:
Data are from the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS), which was created in response to a congressional mandate in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 for biennial reporting on the scope and characteristics of human trafficking. HTRS is currently the only system that captures information on human trafficking investigations conducted by state and local law enforcement agencies in the United States. The report also describes HTRS data collection procedures and data quality issues. Highlights include the following:
  • Federally funded task forces opened 2,515 suspected incidents of human trafficking for investigation between January 2008 and June 2010.
  • About 8 in 10 of the suspected incidents of human trafficking were classified as sex trafficking, and about 1 in 10 incidents were classified as labor trafficking.
  • The confirmed human trafficking incidents open for at least a year led to 144 known arrests.
Drilling down, the reliable data on sex trafficking turns out to be 272 total confirmed cases over an 18 month period, 108 of which were classifed as adult prostitution and 164 of which were classified as sexual exploitation of a child (under 17...no details included but I'm pretty sure it didn't feature a whole bunch of 10 year olds).

This is not zero, obviously. Nor does it represent all the cases in existence. But it is a reasonbly good indicator of how big the numbers actually are, and compared to the insane numbers being freely tossed about by groups like "The Rebecca Project" (one of their ads say: "Each year, 100,000 children are sold for sex in America...") it might as well be.

A fair number of people argue that it doesn't matter how much the numbers are exaggerated and misrepresented, so long as even a single person or child is being used and attention is brought, that's what counts.

But that's not true, for many reasons. First and foremost: if anyone, whether it's an individual or an organization, is willing to either lie about the facts (assuming they know better and misstate by choice) or has made no effort to discover whether the things they say are the truth to begin with, they cannot be trusted. In the first case, well, hello, they're liars. In the second, well, hello, they're sloppy and incompetent.

But there's more than that, of course. The next issue is what good or harm is done with these numbers. As the Voice pointed out, Kutcher is just a very visible example of someone whose heart is in the right place, but his brain is somewhere else, and as a result he's blowing all kinds of money and goodwill and energy and time making incredibly stupid and useless ads aimed at men who want to fuck 16 year olds, all the while REAL 16 year olds who are on drugs and selling their bodies on the streets have very little in the way of assistance for changing their lives.

Really making a difference in the lives of what is probably a couple hundred underage girls and boys in each of the largest metropolitan areas around the country vs. managing the dystopian nightmare of hundreds of thousands of kids being being bought and sold require different responses. So if the real problem is the former, but you are approaching it like the latter, not much of real value is going to happen, and in fact it isn't.

I have more, but I leave it here for now. Discuss if you are so inclined...
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2011, 05:58 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Well, as the Village Voice has pointed out in its article, there are a number of large agencies which are using these "100,000 to 300,000 children a year are at risk for human trafficking" numbers to attract federal dollars ... and in fact they are getting millions of dollars for that trafficking. Here's a link to the Village Voice article on the topic of human trafficking.

Note that to get the 100,000 to 300,000 endangered kids, they have to include kids living near the Canadian and Mexican borders as "endangered." Huge dishonesty.

But the key fact is, all the millions going to those nonprofits. When you see "respectable" -- if that means anything nowadays -- groups citing loopy statistics -- follow the money. And none of that money is, according to the Village Voice, going to house and feed the runaways who are in fact the most likely victims for those human traffickers who do in fact exist, paltry though their numbers are. (The Village Voice estimates less than a thousand actual cases of human trafficking in the US nationwide.)

I've been seriously dubious of this whole human trafficking scare from the beginning. I remember the previous turn of the century (1900s) human trafficking scare -- it was evil Arabs and Chinamen supposed to be doing it -- and a police study found zero ... really, ZERO ... cases of foreigners abducting American women to be sex slaves.

There's also a political angle here ... anti-prostitution crusaders like human trafficking stories because they make it look like most prostitutes are part of a criminal enterprise, even if their role is "victim." So they can wipe away the ethical issues involved in going after women who are doing it on a consensual basis for the money.

Nice to see some truth finally seeing the light of day.

Last edited by Evil Captor; 07-08-2011 at 06:02 PM..
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2011, 07:05 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Things I hate:

1)Twitter
2)Ashton Kutcher
3)Overly wrought fretting about child sex slavery.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2011, 01:23 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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American's should focus on helping impoverished third world nations protect their children from American sex tourism, first. A problem that easily dwarfs anything going on in the USA.

Until they address and enact laws to curtail that, no one will take them seriously over caring about sex trafficking anywhere. It comes across as self absorbed to care about it on US soil, but for decades to have completely ignored the pleas of poor countries, world wide, to please address the issue from the demand side.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2011, 01:42 PM
Drum God Drum God is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
American's should focus on helping impoverished third world nations protect their children from American sex tourism, first. A problem that easily dwarfs anything going on in the USA.

Until they address and enact laws to curtail that, no one will take them seriously over caring about sex trafficking anywhere. It comes across as self absorbed to care about it on US soil, but for decades to have completely ignored the pleas of poor countries, world wide, to please address the issue from the demand side.
I am not educated on this issue at all. What pleas from poor countries? What do they want the US to do? While addressing demand has value, it seems like law enforcement on their end might be in order as well. My understanding of sex tourism is that people will go to a place where their particular kink is legal. Couldn't the hosting country change laws to prosecute the offending behavior?

I'm not trying to argue here. There are likely issues with that that I am unaware of.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:29 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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This is just part of the on going fear mongering gear towards children that has been a growing enterprise since McMartin in the 1980s.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2011, 10:32 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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Quote:
My understanding of sex tourism is that people will go to a place where their particular kink is legal. Couldn't the hosting country change laws to prosecute the offending behavior
No they are going to countries where life is cheap and people are so poor they will sell their children.
The host countries do not have the resources to feed themselves, or the police resources to track down monied sex tourists.

They begged for years for the US to pass a law making it a crime for a US citizen to seek out sex with children in any country. I think they finally did too. But guess how many people have been prosecuted? Sex trafficking in the US is everyone's favorite issue, when, in fact, it's just the suppliers bringing the product where the demand is, saving the perverts airfare and getting paid in US dollars instead of local currency. No one seemed to care as long as it was out of their sight.

Ultimately I'm glad it's being addressed but to see the issue in it's totality I think context is key. Let's not kid ourselves, they brought it to these shores because it's the demand that driving it.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2011, 06:21 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
No they are going to countries where life is cheap and people are so poor they will sell their children.
The host countries do not have the resources to feed themselves, or the police resources to track down monied sex tourists.
And where does this happen? Like the Sex Trafficking that Ashton Kutcher purports to try to eliminate, this is one of those things that undoubtedly occurs in some places with some people, but where myth tends to be expanded and exploited for other reasons. Thailand gets tossed out as a place where this happens a lot, but I've lived in Thailand and seen no evidence of this on a large scale. Maybe you're thinking of Burkina Faso?
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:02 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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Exactly what do you think this changes? This is a lower number than was reported in the Vanity Fair article that caused the problem.

It doesn't change the fact that Vanity Fair was specifically attacking Kutcher and Moore and their campaign. It doesn't change the fact that, when you attack someone, they will attack back. Not a single bit of this has actually been about trafficking.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:17 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Exactly what do you think this changes? This is a lower number than was reported in the Vanity Fair article that caused the problem.

It doesn't change the fact that Vanity Fair was specifically attacking Kutcher and Moore and their campaign. It doesn't change the fact that, when you attack someone, they will attack back. Not a single bit of this has actually been about trafficking.
Eh? An argument about the number of people trafficked in the US isn't actually about trafficking?
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2011, 12:08 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth View Post
And where does this happen? Thailand gets tossed out as a place where this happens a lot, but I've lived in Thailand and seen no evidence of this on a large scale. Maybe you're thinking of Burkina Faso?

In fact, I understand that children sex exploitation indeed moved to Africa. I've heard of several countries, but the only one I remember at the moment is Madagascar and precisely because she took a hard stance on the problem recently, sending many a foreign sex tourist to jail (and probably closing their ports and airports to prevent them from fleeing )


I remember also that at some point in the past (ten years ago? More?) Cambodia had been a hotbed of child sex exploitation.


Regarding Thailand, I guess it's the very outdated conception that the country can't get rid of. I think I was already hearing about kids being exploited in Thailand when I was a young teen, and I'm now 46.

Last edited by clairobscur; 07-11-2011 at 12:10 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2011, 01:54 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
No they are going to countries where life is cheap and people are so poor they will sell their children.
The host countries do not have the resources to feed themselves, or the police resources to track down monied sex tourists.

They begged for years for the US to pass a law making it a crime for a US citizen to seek out sex with children in any country. I think they finally did too. But guess how many people have been prosecuted?
I'm guessing "zero," since I don't see a way you could possibly prosecute someone under that law. How do you prove that someone went to Thailand to have sex with a child prostitute, and not just because they wanted to visit Thailand? To meet US standards of evidence, you'd need a reasonably thorough criminal investigation. Which would have to be performed by the local police force, since US police forces don't have jurisdiction in Thailand. And if there's enough evidence collected by local police forces to justify incarceration in the US, there's enough evidence to justify incarceration in Thailand, making the whole US law moot.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:23 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Although this article is printed on a source I believe to be affiliated with The Village Voice, I believe the damning facts stated therein are compelling:
Women's Funding Network sex trafficking study is junk science


Related reads:
Exposed: the myth of the World Cup ‘sex slaves’

The myth of Britain's foreign sex slaves

The Super Bowl Prostitute Myth: 100,000 Hookers Won't Be Showing Up in Dallas.

Quite the pattern seems to emerge...

Last edited by voltaire; 07-11-2011 at 02:26 PM..
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2011, 10:10 PM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
Although this article is printed on a source I believe to be affiliated with The Village Voice, I believe the damning facts stated therein are compelling:
Women's Funding Network sex trafficking study is junk science


Related reads:
Exposed: the myth of the World Cup ‘sex slaves’

The myth of Britain's foreign sex slaves

The Super Bowl Prostitute Myth: 100,000 Hookers Won't Be Showing Up in Dallas.

Quite the pattern seems to emerge...
Well done, and no surprise at all.

Especially the junmk science part, I'd read an in depth about that recently. It's an insult to science to call it science at all, junk or not.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:27 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
In fact, I understand that children sex exploitation indeed moved to Africa. I've heard of several countries, but the only one I remember at the moment is Madagascar and precisely because she took a hard stance on the problem recently, sending many a foreign sex tourist to jail (and probably closing their ports and airports to prevent them from fleeing )


I remember also that at some point in the past (ten years ago? More?) Cambodia had been a hotbed of child sex exploitation.


Regarding Thailand, I guess it's the very outdated conception that the country can't get rid of. I think I was already hearing about kids being exploited in Thailand when I was a young teen, and I'm now 46.
Just popping in to confirm the local pedos do tend to go to Cambodia now. The situation there is still bad, but occasionally they do actually do something. I recall a wonderful news video from about a decade ago when a Western "teacher" -- American, I think -- was sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex. The guy went berserk, screaming that he had paid the judge his bribe, so what the hell was he doing. Started throwing chairs and anything else he could get his hands on. Was still screaming "I PAID YOU!!! I PAID YOU!!!" as they dragged his sorry ass away. That's not really the norm in Cambodia though, at least not yet.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:04 AM
even sven even sven is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
I'm guessing "zero," since I don't see a way you could possibly prosecute someone under that law. How do you prove that someone went to Thailand to have sex with a child prostitute, and not just because they wanted to visit Thailand? To meet US standards of evidence, you'd need a reasonably thorough criminal investigation. Which would have to be performed by the local police force, since US police forces don't have jurisdiction in Thailand. And if there's enough evidence collected by local police forces to justify incarceration in the US, there's enough evidence to justify incarceration in Thailand, making the whole US law moot.
It's called the PROTECT Act, and it is a big deal and helps a lot. Mostly it affects people living abroad on US Government business- military, State Department, Peace Corps volunteers, etc. Expat circle are small, and going to kddie-brothels or having a teenage girlfriend will get noticed. The PROTECT Act gives the decent guys in tempting situations some additional motivation to make sure their girlfriend is the age they say they are, quickly shoot down advances from students, and keep away from the shadier brothels. Abroad there can be lots of chances to cross the line without it seeming like a big deal. Having the threat of a federal pedophilia conviction lends people some perspective and makes them think twice. This alone does a lot to protect the US's image abroad.

For the real baddies, it makes it quicker and easier to fire them and get them out of there, discourages from thinking joing the Peace Corps or military is a good way to meet poor foreign kids to have sex with, and at the very least encourages pedophiles to stay on the downlow, which helps the US's image. If you are having sex with kids, at least do it out of the public eye where it reflects badly on all of us.

Yes, people have been convicted under it. And even more have been "strongly encouraged" to resign and get the hell out of there before it becomes a federal case. And that threat is good motivation to accept your "early retirement" even if you don't think they have solid evidence.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:16 PM
kenetic kenetic is offline
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I think this video pretty much sums up the current debate on sex trafficking. It's in danish, but that in no way hinders understanding. The woman sitting on the right of the screen is an expert and the head of SIO, a danish sex worker rights organization (Prostitution is legal in Denmark, BTW, at least currently). The woman on the left is an actress with no credentials whatsoever. By 3:40 she's completely lost it, just yelling and screaming at the first woman.

In summary: on one side there are intelligent, contentious people who are doing their best to understand the issues and are doing so in conjunction with actual sex workers, on the other side are clueless uninformed people who just want to rant.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:26 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
It's called the PROTECT Act, and it is a big deal and helps a lot. Mostly it affects people living abroad on US Government business- military, State Department, Peace Corps volunteers, etc. Expat circle are small, and going to kddie-brothels or having a teenage girlfriend will get noticed. The PROTECT Act gives the decent guys in tempting situations some additional motivation to make sure their girlfriend is the age they say they are, quickly shoot down advances from students, and keep away from the shadier brothels. Abroad there can be lots of chances to cross the line without it seeming like a big deal. Having the threat of a federal pedophilia conviction lends people some perspective and makes them think twice. This alone does a lot to protect the US's image abroad.

For the real baddies, it makes it quicker and easier to fire them and get them out of there, discourages from thinking joing the Peace Corps or military is a good way to meet poor foreign kids to have sex with, and at the very least encourages pedophiles to stay on the downlow, which helps the US's image. If you are having sex with kids, at least do it out of the public eye where it reflects badly on all of us.

Yes, people have been convicted under it. And even more have been "strongly encouraged" to resign and get the hell out of there before it becomes a federal case. And that threat is good motivation to accept your "early retirement" even if you don't think they have solid evidence.
Australia has a similar law, and quite a few Aussies have been prosecuted and convicted under it once they're back home after trips to Cambodia. Some European countries may have a law too.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:46 PM
kenetic kenetic is offline
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Here's a blog post criticizing Mellisa Farley's latest "study" "proving" that men who "buy sex" are more likely to commit rape or other crimes. There's a link to the actual study in the blog post, if you want to see what's being responded to.

(link spoiler boxed due to some NSFW ads on the site):
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  #20  
Old 07-21-2011, 11:12 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenetic View Post
Here's a blog post criticizing Mellisa Farley's latest "study" "proving" that men who "buy sex" are more likely to commit rape or other crimes. There's a link to the actual study in the blog post, if you want to see what's being responded to.

(link spoiler boxed due to some NSFW ads on the site):
Well here's the problem in a nutshell, there's milions to be made from the federal govt. for ginning stuff like that up and not a penny to be made by putting out the facts. It's damned discouraging, because they use the basic "lie, lie, lie" tactic the right has used so successfully to push their agenda.
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  #21  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:50 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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There was a pit thread on this exact issue a little while back and it quickly turned into a fairly decent debate.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=610269

The conclusion of that thread was that the 300,000 sex slaves in America number was absurdist fear mongering that not only lacked evidence but actually was contrary to what evidence there was.
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