President Obama declared January National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. As part of these thirty days, IOFA would like to pose a question each week that initiates critical dialogue and hopefully some thought-provoking conversation with friends.
These days, anti-trafficking organizations and statistics abound, but we’ve siphoned through the media coverage to find some articles that highlight the complexity of the situation.
Feministing’s take: http://feministing.com/2012/01/04/potus-declares-human-trafficking-prevention-month/
Trafficking legislation states that if the age of an individual has been verified to be under 18, and the individual is in any way involved in the commercial sex industry, or has a record of prior arrest for prostitution (or related charges), then he or she is a victim. One Wisconsin man’s recent arrest even stemmed from advocacy on behalf of an adult sex worker who found his request for an 8-year-old girl offensive. You can read the article here: http://www.channel3000.com/news/30136733/detail.html
Vulnerable adolescents under the age of 18 are clearly victims of trafficking, but what about adults? Thousands of people take part in the sex trade each year. Many of them declare their work a choice. So, our question to you, is, should all sex work be considered trafficking? Take our poll here:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FBSWDV7
~Summar Ghias, Program Development Intern